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'Had resigned from all posts before EC order'

KOLKATA: Firhad Hakim resigned from the post of Chairman of Board of Administrators, Kolkata Municipal Corporation as well as from the post of heads of a number of government agencies like Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA).

Hakim claimed to have sent his resignation to the Principal Secretary of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department Khalil Ahmed, ahead of the Election Commission of India's (ECI) notification restraining political appointees serving as Board Administrators of Bengal municipal corporations, whose term has ended, from discharging their functions till the model code of conduct is in force.

Debasish Kumar and Atin Ghosh, the two other members of KMC's Board of Administrators who are also contesting the elections resigned on Sunday morning.

Debabrata Majumdar, another member of the Board had resigned a few days back.

41 board administrators from KMC, Asansol Municipal Corporation, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, Siliguri Municipal Corporation and Chandannagore Municipal Corporation were named in the ECI order that includes 35 from TMC, five from CPI(M), one from the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP).

"We always believe that the Election Commission is an independent agency. But in this current context, it appears that the poll panel is acting at the behest of the BJP-led Central government," said Hakim.

"This is dangerous as we apprehend that the common people will lose their faith in the Commission," added the senior TMC leader.

Meawnhile, Hakim maintained that the Commission could have taken up the matter with the state Chief Secretary rather than acting at the behest of BJP in issuing such directions.

The ECI has asked the state Chief Secretary to send compliance of its order by 10.00 hours on March 22.

The Commission has asked the state Chief Secretary to ensure a level playing field in all other municipal bodies in Bengal by rigorous reviews of their decisions which can disturb the level playing field.

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