Cabinet berths in Bengal for Congress rebels - The New Indian Express

Cabinet berths in Bengal for Congress rebels

Published: 19th November 2012 09:57 AM

Last Updated: 19th November 2012 09:57 AM

After the Union Cabinet reshuffle, the West Bengal state cabinet now is all set for a rejig. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wants to revamp her group of ministers ahead of the crucial Panchayat polls.

The reshuffle can take place as early as next week when the state government completes a year and a half in power. TMC sources told Express that just like TMC berths in the Union Cabinet were given to three state Congress leaders and well-known Didi-haters, Banerjee is looking to induct rebel Congress leaders into her coterie. These leaders are from the same area as the newly elected Congress ministers, Deepa Dasmunsi, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury and would help to strengthen the TMC in the Congress strongholds.

With both Dasmunsi and Chowdhury lambasting the state government’s under-utilisation of funds under central schemes such as Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) as well as the TMC’s gross mismanagement of the union railway portfolio, Banerjee was on the back-foot to cause a dent in the Congress armour.

Now with two Congress MLAs, Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury from English Bazar in Malda, and Humayan Kabir from Reginagar in Murshidabad, set to join the TMC, Didi has chanced upon the necessary ammunition to hit back at the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC).

“He (Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury) is an old colleague and met the CM and TMC supremo expressing his will to join the party. He will soon take a final decision and then we will induct him in the party and government,” said Partha Chatterjee, State Industries and Commerce Minister.

Both Choudhury and Kabir have trained their guns on recently elected Union ministers from the state. While Choudhury has accused the Union MoS for Health and Family Welfare Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury and the A B A Ghani Khan Choudhury clan in Malda of despotic behaviour, Kabir has slammed his one-time mentor Union MoS for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of destroying the Congress.

TMC sources however say that both the Congress rebels have been promised state cabinet berths in the upcoming reshuffle. “Didi is thinking of including the two Congress rebels in the state cabinet just like Congress MPs were given Union Cabinet berths that belonged to the TMC. This will help increase the party influence in the Congress strongholds,” said a TMC leader.

Kabir who has quit all Congress posts will formally join the Trinamool Congress on November 20.

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