Setting a new precedent, the West Bengal government on Wednesday appointed a Board of Administrators (BoA) to supervise the functioning of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) with the five-year term of its sitting elected members ending on May 7. On expected lines, Mayor Firhad Hakim has been made chairman of the Board and will be assisted by Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh and a dozen other Trinamool Congress councilors.
Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the West Bengal State Election Commission has deferred civic body elections in the state for the time being.
“The Commission agrees with the view of the government that the situation is not conducive to hold elections at present and in such circumstances, the Commission held its view that it would not be prudent at present to move forward with the process of such election,” stated a notification by the West Bengal government.
The new board will oversee the day to day functioning of one of the country’s oldest civic bodies with immediate effect till fresh elections are held for the BoA.
Indications are @MamataOfficial will set a new precedent when term of KMC & 93 municipal bodies get over after May 7. Instead of civil servants, the new administrators will be TMC leaders. In the resource mobilisation game for life in opposition after 2021, this is a big step.
— Swapan Dasgupta (@swapan55) May 5, 2020
Anticipating the move, the opposition BJP criticized Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the decision. “Mamata Banerjee will set a new precedent when the term of KMC and 93 municipal bodies get over after May 7. Instead of civil servants, the new administrators will be TMC leaders. In the resource mobilisation game for life in opposition after 2021, this is a big step,” BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta wrote on Twitter.