Kolkata: The West Bengal state legislative assembly, on Thursday passed the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill 2018 enabling a non-corporator to become the mayor of the civic body. The person will however need to get elected as a corporator within six months.

The amendment was introduced to appoint Firhad hakim, a state minister in the position of the civic body’s head, after another Trinamool leader Sovan Chatterjee resigned from the position. Hakim is not yet an elected corporator.

Chatterjee, who also held three crucial ministries in the state government resigned from all positions after he was picked up chief minister Mamata Banerjee for devoting too much time to personal affairs.

“Being an elected councilor I am ready to resign from that post as well if the party wants me to," Chatterjee said in a press conference. Chatterjee added the party which is free to hold elections in his seat if it pleases.

The law till Thursday disallowed a person who is not an elected representative of the Corporation from taking up the post of the mayor. The amendment introduced by Hakim himself was passed by a voice vote supported by the lone Bharatiya Janata Party representative Dilip Ghosh.

Replying to a question by Ghosh, Banerjee said that there is no misunderstanding within the party. “All 122 councilors of our party are competent enough to become the mayor," Banerjee said.

Another Trinamool councilor Atin Ghosh was named the deputy mayor of the body at a party meeting headed by Banerjee. Banerjee officially named Hakim as the head of Trinamool party in the KMC at the same meeting.

Iqbal Ahmed the immediate past deputy mayor of the city along with Chatterjee was one of the 13 accused named by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the FIR related to the Narada sting case.

Chatterjee who was a close aide to Banerjee until recently had his wings clipped off after problems in his private life started coming out in public. He was also the environment minister of the state which he lost a few months ago.

“I hope he comes out of all the trouble and we can work together again," Hakim said after being named the mayor.

Meanwhile, the assembly is likely to pass an amendment to a bill which bans spitting and littering in public places. The fine for such an offence ranged between Rs50 and Rs5000 so far. It is likely to be increased to the range of Rs5000 and Rs1lac.

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