Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee in Mamata ministry

Kolkata, May 26 (IANS) Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, former Indian cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla, retired IPS officers Abani Joardar and James Kujur and singer Indranil Sen will be among the new faces in West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s new council of ministers to be sworn in on Friday.

The strength of the ministry would be 42, including the chief minister, Banerjee announced on Thursday, after submitting the list to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi at the Raj Bhavan.

The fresh entrants in the ministry include former Marxist-turned-Trinamool Congress lawmaker Abdur Rezzak Mollah, Suvendu Adhikary, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, Churamoni Mahato, Tapan Dasgupta, Siddiqullah Chowdhury and Asima Patra.

Gulam Rabbani, Bachchu Hansda, Jakir Hossain, Sandhyarani Tudu and Rabindranath Ghosh are the other new inductions in Banerjee’s second ministry.

The heavyweight ministers in Banerjee’s first cabinet formed five years ago – Amit Mitra, Partha Chatterjee, Subrata Mukherjee, Firhad Hakim, Aroop Biswas, Jyotipriyo Mullick, Purnendu Bose, Bratya Basu, Gautam Deb – have also retained berths in the new cabinet.

Among those ministers in Banerjee’s previous cabinet who have been dropped this time despite retaining their seats in the recent assembly polls are Becharam Manna, Rabindranath Bhattacharya, Haider Aziz Safwi, Rachpal Singh, Sudarshan Ghosh Dastidar, Pundarikakkya Sinha and Sukumar Hansda.

Eight other ministers in the erstwhile cabinet lost the recent election.

Banerjee said those who have not been included this time would be used for other important work.

“We can have upto 44 ministers. But tomorrow, 42 of us will take oath. All districts, except Malda, have been represented in the ministry. We don’t have any lawmaker from Malda. We have taken into account lot of factors including caste and creed,” she said.

Banerjee said it would take some time to allocate the portfolios.



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