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Mamata retains portfolios in new cabinet, major changes in education, food & supplies

10 May, 2021 16:43:00
Mamata retains portfolios in new cabinet, major changes in education, food & supplies

A total of 17 new faces, including former national cricketer Manoj Tiwary, are among the ministers in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s third-term cabinet, representing an interesting mix of old and new. With the addition of these 17 names, the strength of the cabinet now stands at 44, including Mamata herself. The complete list of ministers was announced at a press conference by the chief minister at Nabanna today.

She herself has retained a number of key portfolios, including Home and Hill Affairs, Health and Family Welfare, and Information and Culture. That apart, she has taken on three more portfolios - Personnel and Administrative Reforms and e-Governance, North Bengal Development (earlier held by Rabindranath Ghosh, the MLA from Natabari), and Land and Land Reforms, Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation. However, the chief minister has handed over Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education to Golam Rabbani, who was minister of state for the Labour Department in the previous cabinet. 

Not surprisingly, veteran economist Amit Mitra has retained the Finance portfolio, which he has now held for three terms, though ill health prevented him from contesting the Vidhan Sabha elections this year. There has been speculation that the government is so keen to have Mitra continue as finance minister that it may even consider reviving the bicameral legislative system, which was dismantled in the state in 1968.


One significant change has come in the Education Department, with the ministerial portfolio going back to former Education Minister Bratya Basu, who had handed it over to Partha Chattopadhyay. The latter has instead been reinstated as minister for Industry, Commerce and Enterprises. Alongside, he will also be in charge of the Information Technology and Electronics, and Legislative Affairs departments.

The other notable change comes in the Food and Supplies portfolio, where Rathin Ghosh takes over from Jyotipriya Mallik as minister, with the latter assuming charge of the Forest and Non-Conventional and Renewable Energy Sources departments. Also, Firhad Hakim will no longer be in charge of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs, but will look after both Transport and Housing departments. Chandrima Bhattacharya has been handed independent charge of Hakim’s previous portfolio as minister of state.  

Among the new faces, Akhil Giri will be minister of state (independent charge) of the Fisheries Department. Ratna De Nag will look after the Environment Department, Humayun Kabir gets Technical Education, Training & Skill Development, and Shiuli Saha will be in charge of Panchayat and Rural Development as minister of state.

Full list of West Bengal ministers by portfolio

Cabinet Ministers

Mamata Banerjee: Home; Health and Family Welfare; Land and Land Reforms, Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation; Information and Culture; North Bengal Development

Subrata Mukherjee: Panchayat and Rural Development; Public Enterprise

Partha Chatterjee: Industry and Commerce; Information Technology; Legislative Affairs

Amit Mitra: Finance; Planning, Statistics and Programme Monitoring

Sadhan Pandey: Consumer Protection; Self-Help Groups and Self-Employment

Jyotipriya Mallik: Forests; Non-Conventional and Renewable Energy Sources

Bankimchandra Hazra: Sundarban Affairs

Manas Ranjan Bhunia: Water Resources Investigation and Development 

Saumen Kumar Mahapatra: Irrigation and Waterways 

Moloy Ghatak: Law; Judicial; Public Works

Aroop Biswas: Power; Youth Services and Sports

Ujjwal Biswas: Correctional Administration

Arup Roy: Co-operatives

Rathin Ghosh: Food and Supplies

Firhad Hakim: Transport; Housing

Chandranath Sinha: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise

Sobhandeb Chatterjee: Agriculture

Bratya Basu: School and Higher Education

Pulak Roy: Public Health Engineering

Shashi Panja: Women and Child Development and Social Welfare

Mohd Ghulam Rabbani: Minority Affairs and Madrasah Education 

Biplab Mitra: Agricultural Marketing

Javed Ahmed Khan: Disaster Management

Swapan Debnath: Animal Resources Development

Siddiqullah Chaudhuri: Mass Education Extension and Library Services 

Ministers of State (Independent Charge)

Becharam Manna: Labour

Subrata Saha: Food Processing Industries and Horticulture 

Humayun Kabir: Technical Education, Training & Skill Development

Akhil Giri: Fisheries

Chandrima Bhattacharya: Urban Development and Municipal Affairs; also MoS for Health and Family Welfare; Land and Land Reforms, Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation

Ratna De Nag: Environment; Science and Technology and Biotechnology

Sandhyarani Tudu: Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs; also MoS for Legislative Affairs

Bulu Chik Baraik: Backward Classes Welfare, Tribal Development

Sujit Bose: Fire and Emergency Services

Indranil Sen: Tourism; also MoS for Information and Culture


Ministers of State

Dilip Mondal: Transport

Akhruzzaman: Power

Seuli Saha: Panchayats and Rural Development

Srikant Mahato: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise

Yeasmin Sabina: Irrigation and Waterways; North Bengal Development

Birbaha Hansda: Forests

Jyotsna Mandi: Food and Supplies

Paresh Chandra Adhikary: School Education

Manoj Tiwary: Youth Services and Sports

Earlier, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar administered the oath of office and secrecy to all the new ministers at a brief, vastly scaled down swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan. Three ministers - Amit Mitra, Bratya Basu and Rathin Ghosh - were sworn-in virtually. Mitra has been unwell for a while, and both Basu and Ghosh are both recovering from Covid-19.

Significantly, there are eight women ministers in the cabinet, including three from Scheduled Tribe communities - Birbaha Hansda, Sandhyarani Tudu, and Jyotsna Mandi. This is almost certainly in response to the large percentage of women’s votes which went to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in this year’s Vidhan Sabha elections. 

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