KOLKATA: Former Bengal cricket captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla, singer Indranil Sen, retired police officers Abani Joardar, James Kujur and CPI(M) leaderturned-Trinamool MLA Abdur Rezzak Mollah are the new members of the 42-member cabinet that will swear in on Friday under the leadership of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
There will be 18 new faces, including Churamani Hansda, who was a member of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, an outfit that collaborated with CPI(Maoist) in the state.
Shukla, 35, was the Bengal cricket team captain and also played for IPL teams of KKR, Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Right now he is a player in the Mohun Bagan cricket team.
In the list there are four women, including the chief minister. The cabinet will also have seven Muslim members, a remarkable face being Mollah, an eight-time CPI-M MLA and land minister in the Left regime who was a severe critic of former CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and industry minister Nirupam Sen.
There were seven names in the previous ministry who won the elections but were dropped. Prominent among them were Becharam Manna and Rabindranath Bhattacharya, both members of the Singur movement.
“We have included several new faces in the cabinet... We will give important assignments to the eligible candidates who could not find berths in the cabinet,” said Mamata Banerjee.
Mamata Banerjee announced the names of the cabinet members after meeting governor Keshari Nath Tripathi at Raj Bhavan on Thursday.