The spat between West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the state administration continues, this time over the board set up by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to headed by Mayor Firhad Hakim, whose five year term comes to an end on 8th May. Elections to 100 civic bodies in West Bengal were to be held in April and May, which has been put on hold following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Dhankhar has said that he is unaware of the notification by Department of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs where his name is mentioned and that there was no consultation on this subject. The tweet has tagged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “The notification dated May 06 about Kolkata Municipal Corporation is yet to be made available. From every consideration this should have been sent to Raj Bhavan without delay. This notification is widely in circulated in media,” reads the tweet.
The Governor also says in his three part tweet that the state administration is showing defiance to central directives which is unfortunate. “Order in my name-am not aware. No consultation or information. Where are we heading! Defiance to central directives unfortunate. Time for change-as per law for the sake of people,” the tweet goes on to say.
Page 4 of the notification reads, “Sri Firhad Hakim is hereby appointed as the Chairperson of the board. The Municipal commissioner of the said corporation and such other person or persons who may be appointed by the board shall assist the Board in discharge of it’s functions. By Order of the Governor.”
This comes at a time when West Bengal is reeling under the pandemic with 1,047 COVID-19 cases, with 112 reported within 24 hours as of 6th May. The death toll due to COVID-19 is 72 and the KMC is playing an important role in sanitising the city in containment zones and other areas as well.