Downsizing the mayor, is she' That’s the question people are asking, with Trinamul Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee nixing a flurry of Subrata Mukherjee’s proposals for the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC).
The proposals include a voluntary retirement scheme for civic employees, imposition of water tax on all citizens and dropping a few “rebellious colleagues” from his mayoral council.
Moreover, on Friday evening, Mamata summoned the mayor to her Harish Chatterjee Street residence and forced him to drop Pranab Mukherjee as special guest to a function unveiling a life-size bronze statue of Indira Gandhi. The function will be organised by the CMC and chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee is slated to unveil the statue opposite Birla Planetarium.
A section of Trinamul leaders detects a definite purpose behind mayor Mukherjee’s sudden zeal in erecting a statue of Indira Gandhi. One leader pointed out that Mukherjee was using the statue as a double-edged weapon, to build bridges with both the Congress and the CPM.
The state PWD department had paid for the statue but did not instal it for about 12 years due to “political compulsions”. It would be politically safe both for Mukherjee and the CPM if the mayor were to instal it and invite chief minister Bhattacharjee to unveil it, the leaders pointed out.
The allegations of “arrogance” against the mayor seem to have partly convinced the Trinamul headquarters about Mukherjee’s “anti-party activities”, partymen said.