Kolkata, Jan 6 (PTI) By-poll to ward number 82 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, from where West Bengal minister and city mayor Firhad Hakim is seeking election as a Trinamool Congress councillor, passed off peacefully on Sunday.
Hakim, the state’s Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister, had been elected as the Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on December 3 by a majority of KMC councillors, although Hakim himself was not a councillor then.
According to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act, which was amended in the winter session of the Assembly, a mayor would have to get elected by voters as a councillor within six months of being appointed to the post.
BJP’s Jiban Sen, Congress candidate Animesh Bhattacharya and Sisir Dutta from the CPI were the three other candidates but the main contest was between the TMC and the BJP.
An estimated 64 per cent voters of the 33,567 strong electorate cast votes at the polling stations during voting hours from 7 AM to 3 PM, a senior officer of the State Election Commission said.
Polling continued in one booth till 4 PM to allow the voters, who were still standing in queues, to exercise their franchise.
The BJP candidate alleged no polling agent of the party, or other opposition parties could be deployed in the booths during voting, but this charge was denied by Hakim, who said the opposition had no organisational base in the area.
By-poll to ward no 82 was necessitated after resignation of TMC councillor Pranab Biswas on health grounds.
Election to the mayoral post became imperative following the resignation of Sovan Chatterjee from the post in November last year.
Chatterjee, who was also the housing and fire services minister, had resigned from the state cabinet on November 20 and from the post of KMC Mayor on November 22.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.