Mamata Banerjee retains six portfolios, inducts 20 new ministers in her Cabinet

Published on May 10, 2021 06:01 PM IST

There are 24 ministers of Cabinet rank, 10 ministers of state with independent charge, and nine other ministers of state. The CM retained some of the most important portfolios such as home and hills affairs, health and family welfare, land and land reforms, personnel and administrative reforms

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (File photo)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (File photo)
ByHT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee retained six portfolios while inducting 20 new faces in her 43-member new Cabinet. Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday elected Suvendu Adhikari as the Leader of the Opposition.

While the ruling Trinamool Congress returned to power for the third time with a thumping victory by winning 213 out of the 292 seats, party chief Banerjee lost to her protégé-turned adversary Adhikari by less than 2,000 votes at Nandigram in east Midnapore district.

“We have inducted 20 new ministers in the Cabinet. There are nine women ministers (including Banerjee), seven ministers representing minority community and four each from SC and ST communities,” Banerjee said.

There are 24 ministers of Cabinet rank, 10 ministers of state with independent charge, and nine other ministers of state.

She retained some of the most important portfolios such as home and hills affairs, health and family welfare, land and land reforms, personnel and administrative reforms and information and cultural affairs.

. Among the new ministers is former finance minister Amit Mitra. Even though he didn’t contest the elections because of his poor health, he was sworn in as finance minister.

Among the new faces are former IPS officer Humayun Kabir and ex-cricketer Manoj Tiwari. Though the TMC had fielded several Tollywood actors and nearly all of them won, none were inducted in the Cabinet.

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The chief minister also made some important changes in the Cabinet. Jyotipriyo Mullick, who was the food and supplies minister, was made the forest and renewable sources minister. It was during Mullick’s tenure that the TMC had to face allegations of ration scam. Firhad Hakim was given transport and housing, while minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharya was given the additional charge of urban development. Bratya Basu retained the ministries of school and higher education.

Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari said, “As the main Opposition party in the assembly, our first priority would be to ensure that there is no violence and to establish democracy. We would attend the sessions and raise our voice against injustice and torture.”

The chief minister, however, said, “Nothing has happened in Bengal. Bengal is peaceful. There was one only genocide which took place at Sitalkuchi (where central forces had shot dead four persons).”

Soon after, Banerjee held the first Cabinet meeting where she hinted that her government would rather not impose any lockdown despite the rise in Covid-19 cases. “We have imposed multiple restrictions. Without imposing a total lockdown, I urge people to behave as if there is a lockdown. If you impose total lockdown, people won’t be able to earn a living. There are many poor people who depend on daily wages,” she said.

With Eid scheduled later this week, members of the Calcutta Khilafat Committee have decided not to hold prayers on Red Road, where over 200,000 people easily gather every year. The state has also put on a cap of 50 people on religious and cultural gatherings.

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