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9 Dec 2017

Darjeeling civic body members seek to choose new chief

SNS, 8 December 2017, DARJEELING: Twenty-eight ward councilors of Darjeeling Municipality, who have wended support to the Binay Tamang camp of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (JGMM) will write to the state Directorate of Municipal Affairs, urging it to call a special meeting for the election of a new chairperson and vice-chairperson of the civic body.
"The 28 councilors have given a letter to the Darjeeling district magistrate and subdivisonal officer, demanding a special meeting so that a new chairperson and vice-chairperson are elected for the Municipality. They will also be writing to the executive officer of the state Directorate of Municipal Affairs," assistant general secretary of the Morcha (Binay camp),Jyoti Kumar Rai said here today.
'According to the Bengal Municipality Act, Sec 17, and Sec 18, such a meeting can be called after the formation of a board of a municipality. With the chairman not there and the vice-chairman resigning from his post, it is hard for the municipality here to function," he told a press conference.
It may be mentioned that DK Pradhan had been sworn in as the chairman and Ram Jung Golay the vice-chairman on 29 May this year. However, the agitation for Gorkhaland started even before the municipality was about to start functioning fully. While Mr Pradhan was later arrested against different charges during the agitation period, and Mr Golay resigned from his post, citing health problems.
The Municipality here has 32 ward councilors, and Mr Pradhan of Ward-10 still in judicial custody, Mr Golay's Ward 17 councilor's post is
vacant and Ward 31 councillor, Chun Chun Bhutia, is a Trinamul Congress candidate.
The post of Ward 1 councilor Nira Sharma, however, remains disputed after there were claims that she holds a Nepali citizenship.
Asked who the new chair-person and vice-chairperson would be, Mr Rai said, "We are hopeful that a special meeting will be held soon and the process begins. As for now, we have not discussed as who the new chair-person and vice-chairperson will be."

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