The Cabinet reshuffle of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, though it appears to have doubled the TMC’s prospects in the upcoming Panchayat polls, seems to have earned enmity among the party leaders.
State minister Rabindranath Bhattacharya was the first leader to openly oppose the frequent portfolio changes within the Cabinet. Bhattacharya, who was first given the School Education Department and later sent to the Agriculture Ministry, has now been tasked with the responsibility of Programme Implementation and Statistics.
However, the three-time Singur MLA, unhappy at this frequent portfolio change, has refused to take charge of his new department and expressed his desire to quit the state Cabinet.
“I have not accepted the new ministry which has been imposed on me. I was assigned to the School Education, Agriculture and now the Statistics and Programme Implementation. Is the frequent portfolio change good? Don’t I know any work?” asked Bhattacharya.
Didi has reshuffled her Cabinet thrice in the past 18 months. Government sources said Mamata was not happy with the performance of certain ministers like Bhattacharya and former State Tourism Minister Rachhpal Singh.
Another minister Rabiranjan Chatterjee was stripped of the Technical Education Department and is left with Science and Technology.
Shyamal Mondal, who lost his cabinet berth, too seemed disgruntled. Didi giving Cabinet berths to two Congress rebels, Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury and Humayun Kabir, has also created a rift within the TMC.
Party sources hoped that the TMC chief’s bid to fortify the party before the crucial panchayat polls did not backfire and cause a rift within party ranks alienating leaders with massive rural connect.