Bengal governor fires fresh salvo in Howrah civic body bill controversy

Insight Online News

Kolkata, Dec 27 : Amid the ongoing spat over the Mamata Banerjee-led administration’s plans to hold elections to the Bally Municipality separately by bifurcating the Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC), West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Monday said the State Election Commission (SEC) could hold the HMC poll with all 66 wards as it did in 2015.

The state government’s efforts to revive the Bally Municipality has become a fresh bone of contention between the Raj Bhavan and the state Secretariat, Nabanna, with a proposed amendment related to the Howrah civic body – said to have been sent to the Governor for his assent – sowing confusion.

While the state Advocate General claimed before the Calcutta High Court that the governor had given his consent to the Howrah Municipal Corporation Amendment Bill, 2021, Dhankhar has been stating the opposite.

The governor has said he was awaiting inputs on the legislation from the state government. Moreover, he emphatically denied that the proposal to create a separate Bally Municipality was ever sent to him.

“Howrah Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 is pending consideration by WB Governor

as inputs @MamataOfficial are awaited. Proposal to separate Bally Municipalityfrom HMC was never sent for consideration of the Governor,” a communique from the Raj Bhawan said.

However, the Governor said the “SEC (State Election Commission) can hold HMC polls with 66 wards as in 2015.”

The Raj Bhavan said, “The Media reports that Governor Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar has given his

assent for excluding areas of Bally Municipality (BM) from Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC)

are incorrect. No matter seeking exclusion areas of BM from HMC has ever been put

@MamataOfficial for his consideration.”

Speaking to reporters in Darjeeling, the governor said he had read about the state government’s remarks before the court.

“That’s incorrect. I had sought some inputs. I am still waiting for them,” he said.

In November, the state assembly had passed legislation bifurcating the Howrah Municipal Corporation by separating from it 16 wards of the erstwhile Bally Municipality.

Bally is the northern suburb of the city of Howrah

The Bally Municipality first came into being in 1883 comprising parts of Howrah Municipality.

In 2015, Bally Municipality was re-merged with Howrah Municipal Corporation (HMC).


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