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Cabinet Rank For Ex-BJP MP Babul Supriyo As Mamata Banerjee Revamps Team

Cabinet Rank For Ex-BJP MP Babul Supriyo As Mamata Banerjee Revamps Team

Kolkata:

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet expansion — billed as the biggest since the party came to power in 2011 — included five new faces. Sources said the expansion will be followed by a reshuffle of ministries. The biggest name among the newcomers is Babul Supriyo — a former Union minister of the BJP who joined the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress last year, shortly after the party won a third consecutive term in power.

Along with Babul Supriyo, Snehashish Chakraborty, Partha Bhowmik, Udayan Guha and Pradip Majumder will be allotted seats in the cabinet. Four junior ministers will be Birbaha Hansda, Biplab Roy Chowdhury, Tajmul Hossain and Satyajit Burman.

The five new ministers took oath this afternoon, days after the arrest of the Chief Minister’s closest aide Partha Chatterjee in an alleged money laundering case. Piles of cash were recovered from the two properties belonging to his aide, Arpita Mukherjee, making the government the target of much criticism.

Partha Chatterjee, relieved of ministerial duties after his arrest, was in charge of five key departments including industry, commerce and enterprises and parliamentary affairs.

But while announcing the expansion yesterday, Mamata Banerjee said the number of districts in the state has also increased from 23 to 30, generating a bigger workload.

“We lost ministers Subrata Mukherjee, Sadhan Pande. Partha is in jail so all their work has to be done. Not possible for me to handle alone,” she had said.

On Monday, Ms Banerjee had carried out a major overhaul within the party, changing the leadership of 16 of the 35 organisational districts. Several “non-performers” were axed, and some were relieved of organisational duties.

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