Mamata Banerjee reshuffles ministry

In a major reshuffle, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday inducted eight new faces in her 18-month-old ministry - six of them to fill the vacancies that emerged after the Congress pulled out from the government.

Of the eight, six are sitting Trinamool MLAs - Monturam Pakhira, Giasuddin Mollah, Pundarikakshya Saha, Becharam Manna, Rajiv Banerjee and Swapan Debnath - while Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury and Humayun Kabir defected from the Congress only a day before.

Among the eight, only two – Rajiv Banerjee and Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury - were offered Cabinet rank.

Four ministers of state - Madan Mitra (transport), Arup Biswas (housing and youth affairs), Subrata Saha (fisheries), Manjulkrishna Thakur (micro, small scale enterprises and textiles) and Chandrima Bhattacharya (health) - were upgraded to the Cabinet rank.    

Congress ministers resigned following their party’s pull-out from the Bengal ministry on September 22 in response to TMC’s decision to walk out of the UPA coalition at the Centre.
 The new inductees were administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Raj Bhavan by Governor M K Narayanan.

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