Mamata reshuffles cabinet; nine ministers sworn-in

Mamata reshuffles cabinet; nine ministers sworn-in
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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday carried out a major reshuffle of her cabinet as nine people including Babul Supriyo, former BJP central minister, were sworn in.

Of the nine, five were administered oath as cabinet ministers, two as ministers of state and two others as ministers of state - independent charge by Governor La Ganesan.

The portfolios will be announced later.

The cabinet reshuffle, the first since the TMC returned to power for the third consecutive term last year, came when the party is facing a crisis over the arrest of senior minister Partha Chatterjee by the ED over the school jobs scam.

Banerjee had on Monday carried out a major overhaul in her party.

She had said that four-five new faces would be inducted into the new cabinet, while a similar number of present cabinet members would be utilised for party work.

Finally, the numbers inducted were far higher than earlier expected.

Of them, Babul Supriyo, Udayan Guha, Partha Bhowmick, Snehasis Chakraborty and Pradip Mazumdar were sworn in as cabinet ministers.

TMC MLA Biplab Ray Chowdhury was sworn in as MOS- Independent charge while Tajmul Hossain and Satyajit Barman were sworn in as ministers of state.

Birbhaha Hansda, presently a minister of state, was elevated to MOS- Independent charge.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other cabinet ministers were also present at the programme.

According to TMC insiders, with the inclusion of eight new faces and the likely omission of four others from the ministry, this is the biggest reshuffle since the party came to power for the first time in the state in 2011.

The imprint of TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee was evident in the reshuffle as most of those who took oath are considered close to him.

Supriyo, a former BJP MP who quit the saffron party and joined the TMC after being dropped from the Union cabinet last year, is presently a TMC MLA from the Ballygunge assembly constituency in Kolkata.

Abhishek Banerjee has been instrumental in the induction of Supriyo into TMC.

Life has come a full circle. It was last year in August when I left (BJP), and today I am sworn in as a minister of the West Bengal government. I will work hard for the development of the people of West Bengal, he said.

Bhowmick and Chakraborty, considered close to the TMC national general secretary, have been relieved of their organisational responsibilities in North 24 Parganas and Hooghly districts respectively.

Guha is a former Forward Bloc leader who joined TMC after the 2016 assembly polls.

Son of former Left Front minister Kamal Guha, he is presently one of the tallest TMC leaders in Cooch Behar district in the northern part of the state.

Mazumdar had earlier worked as an Agricultural advisor to the CM.

Tribal leader Birbhaha Hansda, a former actress who is presently working as the minister of state for the forest department and consumer affairs department, has been elevated as a minister of state with independent charge.

Hossain, a former two-time Forward Bloc MLA, joined the TMC in 2015. He had won from the Harischandrapur seat in Malda on a TMC ticket in 2021.