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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Despite trouble, Firhad Hakim still close to Didi

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, February 23, 2013
First Published: 13:52 IST(23/2/2013) | Last Updated: 13:56 IST(23/2/2013)

Keeping state urban development minister Firhad Hakim by her side in a public programme at Swasthya Bhavan on Friday chief minister Mamata Banerjee sent a message across the police fraternity, common people and a section of Trinamool leaders that the ‘controversial’ leader of the Garden Reach incident is still close to Trinamool top brass.

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At Swasthya Bhavan Mamata was scheduled to attend a meeting with health officials from across the state to review the status of hospital infrastructure and to find out possible means to upgrade services.

The chief minister arrived at the Sector V office with Firhad Hakim and also addressed the media with minister by her side. “The police will get the message that the urban development minister is still close to the party supremo,” a section of political leaders believe.

As a ripple affect of the Garden Reach incident where a sub inspector was shot dead by a local Trinamool Congress supporter, the state government had asked Hakim not to brief the media. The decision to clip the wings of the urban development minister came after Governor MK Narayanan expressed grievance over the role of Hakim in the incident.

Hakim got involved in controversy for supporting Md Iqbal, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation borough chairman, who is one of the prime accused and is still absconding.

After police lodged an FIR against Iqbal, Hakim told reporters that he did not believe that the borough chairman is involved in the incident. A section of Trinamool leaders claimed, even chief minister herself was frustrated as Hakim gave her wrong information from the spot on the day of the killing.

“Relations between Hakim and a few Trinamool leaders like Sovon Chatterjee and Partha Chaterjee were not good. In fact following Partha Chaterjee’s report on his meeting with the governor, the chief minister decided to remove Hakim from the post of spokesperson,” said a Trinamool leader. In fact during the strike on February 20, Sovon Chatterjee was spotted with Mamata during her ride across the city

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