Hill civic chief axed

Darjeeling Municipality Chairman D.K. Pradhan
Darjeeling: The chairman of Darjeeling municipality was removed through a no-trust motion on Wednesday, paving the way for installation of a new chief by the Binay Tamang camp of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
Even though 28 of 32 councillors of the civic body had extended support to the Binay faction in October, the camp had not been able to remove D.K. Pradhan from the chairman's post because of technical problems.

Pradhan, considered allegiant to the Bimal Gurung camp of the Morcha, was arrested in connection with the recent Gorkhaland agitation and is in judicial custody now. The vice-chairman, Ramjung Golay, had stopped attending office after quitting the post and as the councillor. Under such circumstances, a special meeting to remove Pradhan could not be convened.
But Golay convened a special meeting to take up the no-confidence motion on Wednesday as his resignation had not been accepted till date.
Golay said: "Since my resignation had not been accepted and the municipality was not functioning properly, I decided to convene the special meeting. After the new chairperson takes over, I will again resign as the vice-chairman and the councillor."
Sources said a meeting was likely to be held on January 16 to select the new chairperson.
As of now, the Binay faction is in control of the Kalimpong and Kurseong municipalities in the hills.

The Telegraph

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