KOLKATA: West Bengal minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate Firhad Hakim on Monday defeated Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Meena Devi Purohit in Kolkata mayoral polls.
Hakim had been chosen as the mayor designate of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) by councillors of the ruling TMC following Sovan Chatterjee's resignation from the post on a direction by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Trinamool Congress has a huge majority in the KMC with 122 seats out of a total 144. The Left Front has 14, BJP 5 and the Congress 2 seats, while one seat is vacant.
The elections were held after the Calcutta High Court on November 28 refused to stay the scheduled polls. An opposition CPI(M) councillor had moved court, challenging Hakim's election on the ground that he was not an elected councillor from any of the wards of the KMC.
Refusing to pass any interim stay, Justice Debangshu Basak directed the state and the KMC to file affidavits in opposition to the petition of CPI(M) councillor Bilkis Begum. The petitioner was directed to file her affidavit in reply within another week. The matter would be taken up for further hearing on December 17.
The petitioner challenged the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018, which was passed by the West Bengal Assembly recently.
The amended act, to which the governor has given his assent, enables a person, who is not an elected councillor, to be made a mayor of the KMC. The person would have to be elected within six months to continue in the post. The amendment facilitated the taking over of Firhad Hakim, who is not a councillor, as the mayor of KMC.
Hakim is a minister in the West Bengal cabinet.