Mamata reshuffles cabinet after Trinamool’s dismal LS show

Kolkata: Following her party’s shocking performance in the Lok Sabha polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday reshuffled her cabinet with two ministers left without portfolios.

Binay Krishna Barman, who had charge of the Forest Department, was now left with portfolio as Bratya Basu was given additional change of the department, along with his existing portfolios of Science, Technology & Biotechnology. Sujit Basu, state Fire & Emergency Services Minister, was given additional charge of Minister of State for Forest.

In the reshuffle, Shantiram Mahato, who had been holding charge of Ministry of Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs, was relieved from his duty and left with no portfolio.

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Party’s veteran leader Subrata Mukherjee would hold the charge of the ministry (Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs) in addition to his Panchayat Department which was handed back to him after he had lost the Lok Sabha polls from the Bankura seat.

“Mukherjee has got a good knowledge of the western part after having campaigned extensively there during the recent elections. So he has been handed over the charge of this department,” Banerjee said.

Barman had failed to provide lead for the party from his assembly constituency in Mathabhanga as Trinamool candidate Paresh Chandra Adhikari lost the Cooch Behar Lok Sabha seat to the BJP by a huge margin. In Purulia, party’s candidate Mriganko Mahato was also defeated by BJP, even as Shantiram Mahato was the MLA from Balarampur assembly seat.

Some ministers have been rewarded with additional charges for delivering better performance in Lok Sabha polls for the party.

Among them was Suvendu Adhikari, who had not only helped the party win two seats – Kanthi and Tamluk – from his home district of East Midnapore, but was also instrumental in clinching two seats in Murshidabad and Jangipur in Murshidabad district which was under his purview.

Adhikari was handed over the charge of Irrigation & Waterways and Water Resources Investigation & Development Department in addition to his portfolio of Transport. He was, however, relieved of his Environment portfolio.

Soumen Kumar Mahapatra was given the charge of the Environment and Public Health Engineering (PHE) Department with the Irrigation & Waterways Department.

Moloy Ghatak, who lost the PHE Department to Mahapatra, would continue to hold the charge of Law and Labour Department.

Ghatak, an MLA from Asansol North assembly constituency, failed to provide lead to Trinamool candidate Moon Moon Sen who lost from the Asansol Lok Sabha seat.

The Tribal Development Department has been merged with the Backward Classes Welfare department and the charge was given to Rajib Banerjee. Chandrima Bhattacharjee has been holding the charge of Minister of State for Tribal Development Department.


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