Jhalda subdivisional Ritam Jha on Wednesday disqualified independent councillor Shila Chatterjee within three days of her election to the post of chairperson of Jhalda municipality, which had been conducted by the Congress through a court-monitored voting process in the presence of the district magistrate of Purulia.
In a similar development, the government on Thursday appointed Trinamul councillor Sudip Karmakar as chairman of the municipality.
Shila Chatterjee was elected chairperson by the Congress on Monday and took oath on Tuesday following a High Court directive.
Sources said the disqualification notice was served to Shila Chatterjee on Thursday and forwarded to the DM, the additional district magistrate and other administrative officials in the district.
However, Shila Chatterjee said the move was illegal and that she would move court. “The SDO has illegally disqualified me at the behest of the Trinamul to grab the civic body once again. I will move court against the notice,” she said on Thursday.
Sources said former Jhalda municipality chairman andTrinamul councillor SureshAgarwal had appealed to the SDO seeking the disqualification of Chatterjee as councillor citing an anti-defection law and had claimed she had earlier joined Trinamul after being elected as an independent candidate.
“The SDO then sent a notice to Shila Chatterjee and Suresh Agarwal for a hearing on January 17 but Shila did not turn up. She denied joining the Trinamul,” said a source.
“I never ever joined Trinamul but only supported the former board from the outside. I later withdrew my support as the former Trinamul-run body was not acting in the interest of people,” said Chatterjee.
Sudip Karmakar, who was vice chairman of the previousTrinamul-run board until it fell to a no-confidence motion brought by the Congress, took charge.
Congress president in Purulia, Nepal Mahato, said the election process was court-monitored and -directed. “How can the SDO disqualify Shila Chatterjee after we won the legal battle and formed the board only three days ago?.”
SDO Jha, however, refused to comment to the media on the matter.