Politics : Major reshuffle in Mamata cabinet, Bengal gets its first woman Industry Minister

Kolkata, Aug 3 : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday evening undertook a major reshuffle in her ministry, inducting Sashi Panja, as the state’s first woman Commerce and Industries Minister.

The position was vacant following the removal of Partha Chatterjee, following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission recruitment irregularities scam. Panja was given the charge of the state Commerce and Industries Department, in addition to her existing portfolio of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare.

Eldest Trinamool Congress legislator, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, was given the responsibility of the Parliamentary Affairs Department, in addition to his existing assignment as Agriculture Minister. Earlier the Parliamentary Affairs Department was in charge of Chatterjee.

Heavyweight cabinet minister Firhad Hakim was divested of his transport portfolio, which will now be handled by the newly-inducted minister, Snehasis Chakraborty. Hakim will, however, continue, as the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister besides being Kolkata Mayor.

Singer-turned politician, Babul Supriyo was inducted as a cabinet minister with two important portfolios of Information Technology & Electronics and Tourism. The IT and Electronics department was earlier with Chatterjee.

Paresh Chandra Adhikari, also tainted in the WBSSC recruitment irregularities scam, was stripped of his portfolio as Minister of State for Education. He was replaced by another newly-inducted minister, Satyajit Burman.

Two other-newly inducted ministers, Pradip Majumdar and Udayan Guha, will be Cabinet Ministers for Panchayat Affairs and Rural Development, and North Bengal Development, respectively.

Partha Bhowmik is the new Irrigation and Waterways minister replacing Soumen Mahapatra, who was stripped of his ministerial portfolio.

Santhali actress-turned-politician, Birbaha Hansda will be the Minister of State, Independent Charge, for Self-Help Group & Self-Employment and Forests.

Another newly-inducted minister, Biplab Roy Chowdhury was offered the portfolio of Minister of State, Independent Charge, for Fisheries.

Tajmul Hossain is the new Minister of State for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, and Textiles.

–IANS

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