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43 Cabinet ministers to take oath today

43 Cabinet ministers to take oath today
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Kolkata: The third Trinamool Congress government is going to have a 43-member Cabinet, including Amit Mitra among the old guards, with the legislators to be sworn in at the Raj Bhavan at 10.45 am on Monday.

Mitra, the Finance minister in the last two terms of the Mamata Banerjee government, did not contest the elections this time. He will be taking the oath on Monday, virtually, and by all means, will be given the same portfolio.

With most of the senior ministers, including Subrata Mukherjee, Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, Bratya Basu, Ujjal Biswas, Moloy Ghatak, Javed Ahmed Khan to continue as ministers for the third consecutive terms, Pulak Roy from Howrah, Rathin Ghosh from North 24-Parganas, Biplab Mitra from South Dinajpur and veteran leader Bankim Chandra Hazra from South 24-Parganas are the new entries in the list of the 24 Cabinet ministers. Manas Ranjan Bhuniya, who became the TMC's Rajya Sabha MP after losing in the last Lok Sabha poll from Midnapore, is also on the list. It needs a mention that Bhuniya had served as the Irrigation minister in the first term of Banerjee's government. But he had to resign as Congress had severed ties with Trinamool Congress. He later joined the TMC in 2016.

In total, there are 17 new faces in the list of Cabinet ministers, Ministers-of-State (Independent charge) and Ministers-of-State. It includes two celeb candidates — former Indian team cricketer Manoj Tiwari and popular Santhali film actor Birbaha Hansda.

Tiwari is becoming Minister of State in the debut of his political career itself after winning from Shibpur, Howrah. While Hansda, daughter of Naren and Chunibala Hansda, was born and brought up in a family deeply involved in politics, has won from Jhargram after joining Trinamool Congress just a few days ahead of the announcement of the party's candidates' list. The three-time MLA from Madhyamgram in North 24-Parganas, Rathin Ghosh, and Biplab Mitra, who regained TMC's lost Harirampur seat in South Dinajpur this time, will also be sworn in as ministers on Monday. Former IPS officer Humayun Kabir, who won from Debra, is also going to take oath as MOS (Independent charge).

Besides Amit Mitra, Covid-infected Bratya Basu will also be sworn in virtually.

Two-time MP from Hooghly Dr Ratna De Nag, who had lost in 2019 Parliamentary elections against Locket Chatterjee, has been inducted as MOS with Independent charge in Cabinet.

There are five candidates, too, who were dropped from the list of Cabinet or Ministers-of-State (MOS) despite winning the elections. It includes former Agriculture minister Asish Banerjee, former Agriculture Marketing minister Tapan Dasgupta, MOS for Parliamentary Affairs Tapas Roy, MOS for Labour Nirmal Maji and MOS (Independent charge) Manturam Pakhira.

Interestingly, Swapan Debnath, who was MOS (Independent charge) of Animal Resource Development and MOS of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises and Textiles, has been made a Cabinet minister this time. Dr Shashi Panja, who was another MOS with Independent Charge in the last term, will be sworn in as a Cabinet minister.

Turncoat Rajib Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikari had held crucial departments including Forest, Irrigation and Transport. The Chief Minister had become the in-charge of these departments after the duo resigned and joined BJP. Though Suvendu managed to win with BJP's ticket with marginal votes, Rajib lost from Domjur. Now, it is going to be a wait and watch scenario as to who will be getting these two portfolios when Madan Mitra, who was being speculated would become the Transport minister again, did not appear in the list of ministers.

MLA from Ramnagar in East Midnapore Akhil Giri has come up as a crucial entrant in the Cabinet besides Saumen Mahapatra from the district.

With the Trinamool Congress doing exceptionally well in Malda and Murshidabad this time, three MLAs — Sabina Yasmin from Mothabari in Malda, Akhruzzaman from Raghunathganj in Murshidabad — will be sworn in as MOSs. Murshidabad's Sagardighi's MLA Subrata Saha is becoming MOS with an Independent charge.

With two crucial ministers from North Bengal — Gautam Deb and Rabindranath Ghosh losing the elections — the MOS in the last term Md Gholam Rabbani has also been brought in as a Cabinet minister. There are two Cabinet ministers, one each from North and South Dinajpur, in North Bengal apart from two MOSs — one each from Cooch Behar (Paresh Chandra Adhikari) and Jalpaiguri (Bulu Chik Baraik).

The Jangalmahal, where TMC has reclaimed its lost ground, in total has got seven members in the 43-member Cabinet.

Besides 24 Cabinet ministers, there are 10 MOS with independent charge and nine MoSs.

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