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43 legislators take oath as Cabinet ministers

43 legislators take oath as Cabinet ministers
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Kolkata: The 43 legislators of Mamata Banerjee's Cabinet, who were sworn in at a low-key ceremony at the Raj Bhavan on Monday morning, were allotted respective portfolios in the third consecutive TMC government in which the Chief Minister retained six crucial departments besides inducting 20 new faces in her team.

Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar administered the oath of office and secrecy at 10.45 am. The Cabinet ministers, Minister of State (MoS) with Independent charge and Ministers of States (MoS) took the oath of office and secrecy in batches because of the pandemic situation and the whole function took six minutes to complete. Amit Mitra, Bratya Basu and Rathin Ghosh were sworn in virtually.

Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Director General of Police Virendra and Commissioner of Kolkata Police Soumen Mitra were present at the oath-taking ceremony. After the function was over, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar went to the MLAs and congratulated them. Later in the afternoon, the ministers were given the portfolios by the Chief Minister.

"We have inducted 20 new ministers in the Cabinet. There are nine women ministers (including the Chief Minister), seven ministers are from the minority community, four each from SC and ST communities and other communities like Rajbangshi and Mahato," Banerjee said after holding the first Cabinet meeting at Nabanna.

Banerjee, who came to power for the third consecutive term with 213 seats, retained the most important portfolios — Home and Hills Affairs, Health and Family Welfare, Land and Land Reforms and Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation, Information and Cultural Affairs, Personnel and Administrative Reforms. She is also the minister of the North Bengal Development Department that also has Sabina Yasmin, the MLA from Malda's Mothabari, as its MoS.

Amit Mitra, who did not contest the election this time, has been sworn in as the state's Finance Minister with another senior leader Partha Chatterjee, who was the state Education minister in the previous term, being given the charge of Industry, Commerce and Enterprises, Information Technology and Electronics and Parliamentary Affairs departments. It needs mention that Chatterjee had the portfolio of the Industry, Commerce and Enterprises in the first term of the Trinamool Congress government. Later, Mitra was given charge of the department.

Similarly, Bratya Basu – who had served as the Education minister in the initial three years since 2011 of the Mamata Banerjee's government in the first term – has been given the portfolio of the School and Higher Education. Paresh Chandra Adhikary has been given the portfolio of MoS School Education department.

Md Ghulam Rabbani has been made the minister of Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education department.

Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, who was the state Power minister in the previous term, will now hold another crucial portfolio as the state Agriculture minister with Aroop Biswas getting the charge of the Power department that also has Akhruzzaman as its MoS. Biswas, who was the state PWD minister in the last term, will retain the portfolio of the state Youth Services and Sports minister. Manoj Tiwari has been made the MoS of the department. Biplab Mitra from North Bengal has been given the charge as the Agriculture Marketing minister.

Jyotipriya Mallick becomes the state Forest minister while Rathin Ghosh, who is MLA from Mallick's North 24-Parganas district, has been given the portfolio of the state Food and Supplies minister. Mallick will also look after the Non-Conventional and Renewable Energy Sources department.

Firhad Hakim, who was the Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister in the past two terms of the TMC government, has been given the crucial portfolios of Transport and Housing. Dilip Mondal is the MoS of the Transport department. Chandrima Bhattacharya has been made the MoS (Independent charge) of the Municipal Affairs and Urban Development department. She has retained the portfolios of being the MoS of the two crucial departments – Health and Land – minister of which is the Chief Minister herself. Pulak Roy from Howrah will look after the Public Health Engineering department.

The MLA from Sagar in South 24-Parganas Bankim Hazra has been brought in as the Suderban Affairs minister while Manas Ranjan Bhunia and Saumen Mahapatra have been made ministers of the Water Resources Investigation and Development department and the Irrigation and Waterways department respectively.

Chandranath Sinha, the only minister from Birbhum, has been given the portfolio of MSME and Textiles minister and Swapan Debnath becomes the minister of the Animal Resources Development department.

The other senior leaders, including Subrata Mukherjee, Sadhan Pandey, Moloy Ghatak, Ujjal Biswas, Arup Roy, Dr Shashi Panja, Javed Khan and Siddiqullah Chowdhury will continue with their previous portfolios as the state Panchayats minister, Consumer Affairs along with Self-Help Group and Self Employment, Law along with Judicial and Public Works, Correction Administration, Co-operation, Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, Disaster Management and Civil Defence and Mass Education and Library Services respectively. Sujit Bose will also continue as MoS (Independent charge) of the state Fire department. Similarly, Indranil Sen becomes the MoS (Independent charge) of the Tourism department besides continuing as the MoS of the Information and Cultural Affairs department.

Becharam Manna, Subrata Saha and Akhil Giri have been given very crucial portfolios as MoS (Independent charge) of the Labour department, Food Processing Industries and Horticulture department and Fisheries department respectively. Similarly, former IPS officer Humayun Kabir becomes the MoS (Independent charge) of Technical Education, Training and Skill Development. Veteran politician Ratna De Nag becomes the MoS (Independent charge) of two departments – Environment, Science and Technology and Biotechnology. Sandhyarani Tudu has been made the MoS (Independent charge) of Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs department. She is also the MoS in Parliamentary Affairs department while Bulu Chik Baraik becomes the MoS (Independent charge) of Backward Classes Welfare and Tribal Development departments.

Seuli Saha, Birbaha Hansda and Jyotsna Mandi are the MoSs of Panchayat and Rural Development, Forests and Food and Supplies departments respectively.

The Chief Minister also announced that Nirmal Ghosh will be appointed as the Chief Whip of the Trinamool Congress in the Assembly and Tapas Roy will function as the Deputy Chief Whip. Biman Banerjee has already been appointed Speaker and Asish Banerjee will be appointed as Deputy Speaker. Both Tapas Roy and Asish Banerjee were dropped from the list of ministers.

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