KOLKATA, 20 JUNE: The chairman of the Bidhannagar Municipality, Mrs Anita Mondal, resigned from her post today citing personal reasons, adding that she was unable to keep up the pace with the chief minister, Miss Mamata Banerjee.
Mrs Mondal, however, retained her post as a councillor. With her resignation, the board of chairman-in-council (CIC) was also disbanded according to the West Bengal Municipal Act 1993. The vice-chairman of the municipality, Mr Sabyasachi Dutta, took charge of the municipality and would soon call a meeting of the councillors where a new chairman would be elected. Mrs Krishna Chakraborty, at present CIC for health, was known be the next in line for the post.
Mrs Chakraborty happens to be very close to the chief minister. Like the mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) Mr Sovan Chatterjee she spends most of the time with Miss Mamata Banerjee.
The removal of Mrs Mondal without assigning any cause has created a flutter in Trinamul Congress. “She should have been given some more time. The new government took over just a month ago. The municipality’s financial situation is in a bad shape and the Left Front ministers considered Salt Lake to be their fiefdom,” said senior party leaders, adding “she has been removed just because she did not visit party office and did not grease palms of those who are close to Miss Banerjee”.
Mrs Mondal, after handing over her resignation to the Bidhannagar SDO, Mr Malay Mukhopadhyay, said: “I quit because of personal problems. I could not work as fast as didi (Miss Mamata Banerjee). There was a delay in completion of a lot of work in Bidhannagar and because of this, Didi was dissatisfied. I hope the new chairman would live up to didi’s expectations.”
Mrs Anita Mondal had offered to resign as chairperson of Bidhannagar Municipality in a text message to Miss Banerjee on Sunday afternoon. It was known that she was told to quit as the party leadership was dissatisfied with her work and differences among other members over running the civic body surfaced from time to time. Mrs Krishna Chakraborty, who is speculated to be the next chairman of the municipality, said that although her name is being projected as a probable candidate, she is yet to be informed formally from the party. “I am here to serve. I will try and complete whatever job I am entrusted with,” she added.
It may be noted that Mrs Mondal and Mr Sabyasachi Dutta have had frequent verbal spats and the councillors had differences as section of them was against the chairperson’s selection from the very beginning, ever since Trinamul Congress came to power in the civic body.
Mr Sabyasachi Dutta said that with the speed Miss Mamata Banerjee works, it was indeed difficult for many to catch up with her pace. “Miss Banerjee wants the state to have a better position and compete with other states for excellence. Those who cannot keep pace with her will quit while those who can serve selflessly would stay.” He is yet to decide the date for calling the meeting of board of councillors.
Mrs Ila Nandi, the leader of the Opposition in the civic board, however, defended Mrs Mondal by saying that she should have been given some more time. “It was the failure of the party and not the chairman. Where is the 29-member advisory committee now? We have learnt that when the Left Front government was in power, the municipality chairman was instructed by her party not to meet the CPI-M ministers.”
Bidhannagar civic body to go for vote-on-account
KOLKATA, 28 JUNE: The vice-chairman of Bidhannagar Municipality, Mr Sabyasachi Dutta, would pass a vote-on-account to keep providing civic amenities in Salt Lake till a new chairperson takes charge and a Budget is tabled, it was decided at a board meet today.
The board meeting was held for the first since Mrs Anita Mandal resigned from the post of chairman of the municipality on 20 June. Her resignation was accepted unanimously at the meeting today.
The next meeting is slated for 6-7 July when a new chairperson would be elected and the oath-taking ceremony held. Mrs Krishna Chakraborty, CIC health, was known to be the prospective candidate for the post. It may be noted that it was for the second time in the year that the municipality decided on passing a vote-on-account. Mrs Anita Mandal had passed a vote-on-account on 7 April, 2011 to come up with a three-month financial record as the full annual budget could not be passed due to the Assembly election. A full Budget was to be tabled after the poll results are declared. The vote-on-account emphasised on road repairs, street lighting and waste management. However, with the resignation of the chairman, the Budget had to be put off yet again.