Forty-three legislators of the Trinamool Congress were on Monday sworn in to the West Bengal Council of Ministers at the Raj Bhavan. In all, 24 Cabinet Ministers and 10 Ministers of State with independent charge and nine Ministers of State took the oath.
The Council of Ministers included a mix of party veterans and new faces. Senior Trinamool Congress leaders like Subrata Mukherjee, Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim, Aroop Biswas and Sashi Panja, who have held important portfolios in the first two terms of the party, were sworn in as Cabinet Ministers.
Eight women have been sworn in, and with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee the total number of women has increased to nine.
The Council of Ministers includes seven members of the minority community, the key names being Siddiqullah Chowdhury and Gholam Rabbani.
Among the new additions are Rajya Sabha MP Manas Ranjan Bhuniya, Paresh Chandra Adhikari, Ratna De Nag, and former IPS officer Humayun Kabir. These leaders have either some administrative or ministerial experience. Dr. Bhuniya was a Minister in the first term of Trinamool Congress government when he was a Congress legislator. Mr. Adhikari was a Minister in the Left Front government.
Former cricketer Manoj Tiwari and Keshpur MLA Seuli Saha, and Jhargram MLA Birbaha Hansda who have no past experience have also been included.
The swearing-in ceremony was organised at the Throne Room of the Raj Bhavan where Ms. Banerjee took oath for the third consecutive time on May 5. Former State Finance minister Amit Mitra who did not contest the Assembly polls has also been included and is likely to retain the finance portfolio. Mr. Mitra and two other Ministers Bratya Basu and Rathin Ghosh were sworn in virtually.
Representation to those elected from most of the districts of West Bengal has been accorded in the Council of Ministers. Later in day, the Chief Minister will chair a Cabinet meeting at the Secretariat. The allocation of portfolios is also expected during the day.