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5 MLAs from N Bengal find place in Mamata's Cabinet

DARJEELING: Five MLAs from the North Bengal districts took oath as ministers on Monday. People in many parts of North Bengal celebrated as MLAs from the region secured berths in the Cabinet.

Usually ministers from North Bengal in the earlier Cabinets were allotted departments like Forest and North Bengal Developments Department (NBDD). This time, the MLAs from this region have managed to bag a wide array of responsibilities.

Mohammad Ghulam Rabbani, MLA, Gowalpokhar took oath as the Minister of Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education; Biplab Mitra, MLA, Harirampur, South Dinajpur as Minister in-charge of Agricultural Marketing; Bulu Chik Baraik, MLA, Malbazar as Minister-of-State (Independent charge) as Backward Classes Welfare, Tribal Department; Paresh Chandra Adhikari, MLA, Mekhliganj as Minister-of-State, Education and Yaesmin Sabina, MLA, Mothabari, Malda as Minister-of-State, Irrigation, Waterways and NBDD.

Interestingly, breaking the earlier unwritten norm of appointing an MLA from North Bengal at the helm of affairs in the NBDD department, this time Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee retained this department.

Political analysts opined that with the TMC making a steady comeback in North Bengal, the Chief Minister wants to ensure timely execution of development projects, maintaining quality, in this region through the NBDD. Hence, she has retained the department.

In another development, Surendra Gupta, Principal Secretary, GTA, will be continuing as the Administrator, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA).

Gupta had taken charge as the Administrator, GTA with the Model Code of Conduct imposed replacing the Board of Administrators with Anit Thapa as the chairman.

A notification issued by the Home and Hill Affairs Department, Government of West Bengal on May 3, stated that the Model Code of Conduct has ceased with the conclusion of elections in the State.

"For the better functioning of the GTA and to keep its development work on high trajectory, it is prudent that the Principal Secretary, GTA may continue as Administrator until further orders," stated the notification.

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