Mamata Banerjee cabinet sees biggest reshuffle since 2011, Babul Supriyo among 9 new faces; know who’s in, who’s out

The Mamata Banerjee cabinet in West Bengal on Tuesdauy witnessed its biggest reshuffle since 2011 when the Trinamool Congress came to power. Among the new ministers to take oath is Babul Supriyo, a former Union minister and BJP leader. 

Apart from Supriyo, district level leaders of TMC, Snehashish Chakraborty, Partha Bhowmik, Udayan Guha and Pradip Majumder found berths after the cabinet reshuffle.

The new ministers were administered oath by Governor La Ganeshan at a small programme at Raj Bhavan attended by Chief Minister Banerjee and others. 

Birbaha Hansda, a tribal leader, and Biplab Roy Chowdhury took oath as ministers of state with independent charge. Tajmul Hossain and Satyajit Barman were sworn in as ministers of state.

According to sources quoted by The Indian Express, Birbaha Hansda, the MLA of Jhargram, is being groomed to be the face of the Santhal community in the party. 

The cabinet reshuffle, the first since the TMC returned to power for the third consecutive term last year, comes amid the party facing the heat over the arrest of senior minister Partha Chatterjee by ED over the school jobs scam.

Banerjee had on Monday carried out a major overhaul in her party and announced that a cabinet reshuffle will take place on Wednesday. She had said that four-five new faces would be inducted into the new cabinet, while a similar number of members of the present cabinet would be utilised for party work.

After the BJP’s defeat in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly polls, Supriyo had announced that he would quit politics and also resign as Lok Sabha MP. However, he joined Banerjee’s party in September last year. He was also elected as MLA from Ballygunj, which had fallen vacant after the demise of veteran TMC leader and minister Subrata Mukherjee.

Bhowmick and Chakraborty, considered close to TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in the party circles, have been relieved of their organisational responsibilities in North 24 Parganas and Hooghly districts respectively.

Guha, a former Forward Bloc leader who had joined TMC after the 2016 assembly polls, is a frontrunner for induction into the cabinet from north Bengal.

Son of former Left Front minister Kamal Guha, he is presently one of the tallest TMC leaders in Cooch Behar district.

Partha Chatterjee, who has been relieved of ministerial duties, was in charge of five key departments including industry, commerce and enterprises and parliamentary affairs.

For a brief period, Banerjee had supervised the panchayat and PHE departments as well as consumer affairs and self-help group and self-employment departments following the death of in-charge ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Sadhan Pandey respectively.

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