Guwahati: In an unprecedented move, the West Bengal government dissolved the Darjeeling Municipality board on Tuesday. CM Mamata Banerjee has appointed additional district magistrate (general) as the administrator of the municipality.
According to the order issued by the urban development and municipal affairs department, the municipality was dissolved under sub-section (2) of Section 431 of the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993.
It said that with the dissolution of the municipality, an administrative vacuum has emerged which is “required to be filled to ensure smooth running of public services in the municipal area of the said municipality in public interest”.
The order clarified that with the dissolution, all powers and functions vested upon municipal authorities under the act or any other law in force shall be exercised only by the administrator appointed by the state government.
The ADM (general) Darjeeling, will work as the administrator of the Darjeeling Municipality with “immediate effect for a period not exceeding six months or until the newly elected councillors take over charge, whichever is earlier”, the order said.
It may be recalled that 17 councillors from Darjeeling Municipality had recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and placed a no-confidence motion against the current board, which was led by Binay Tamang and Trinamool Congress loyalist Prativa Rai Tamang.
Earlier this month, the West Bengal government had similarly dissolved Naihati civic body, after majority of the councillors joined BJP. This was challenged in the courts.
The state also saw wide-spread post-poll violence after the BJP won 18 seats in the recently held Lok Sabha elections against just two seats from the state during the 2014 polls.