Prativa Rai sworn in as Chairperson of Darjeeling
Darjeeling: Finally the Binay Tamang–Anit Thapa faction of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha took control of the Darjeeling Municipality with Prativa Rai sworn in as the Chairperson and Sagar Tamang taking oath of office as the Vice-Chairman.
Out of 32 Councillors, 30 had voted for Rai in the capacity of Chairperson. Former Chairman DK Pradhan of ward 10 is at present in judicial custody and Neera Sharma of ward 1 is absconding as she has been implicated in a case whereby she has been labeled as a Nepali citizen. Both were absent in Tuesday's special meeting.
Avik Chatterjee, the Darjeeling Sub Divisional Officer administered the oath of office to Rai on Tuesday. "After administering the oath of office, I handed over charge to her," stated Chatterjee. Ram Jung Golay of ward 17 tendered his resignation from the post of Vice-Chairman. The resignation was accepted. Rai after taking charge nominated Tamang as the new Vice-Chairman. "I was elected unanimously as the Chairperson. This also projects the policy of women's empowerment of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. We will work for bettering civic amenities and give priority to drinking water, sanitation and health," stated Rai.
The Chairperson stated: "Later this week we will decide on the department heads."
A rally was taken out in the town bursting crackers with the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson appealing for cooperation and support from the residents. The Darjeeling Municipality has been in a near non-functional state following the 104-day long agitation since June 2017. DK Pradhan, who had been sworn in as the Chairman following the elections to the civic body in May last year. was been arrested on September 22, 2016 from Gurugram, Haryana in connection with a Darjeeling Sadar police station case pertaining to the agitation. He is at present in Judicial custody.