Bengal: Rajib Banerjee, 3 other TMC ministers skip cabinet meeting

In the recent past, Banerjee expressed his discontent on several occasions on the issue of the functioning of a section of party functionaries.

Published: 22nd December 2020 07:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2020 07:20 PM   |  A+A-

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

KOLKATA: Four ministers of the West Bengal government skipped cabinet meeting convened by CM Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday at the state secretariat. Though three of them cited reasons seemed to be genuine, the absence of Rajib Banerjee, the minister for forest affairs, was said to be politically significant as there are strong speculations that he might quit the TMC.

The three others in Mamata’s cabinet, who did not turn up to attend the meeting, were Rabindranath Ghosh, the north Bengal development minister, tourism minister Gautam Deb and Chandranath Sinha, the minister for fisheries.

Sources in the TMC said Ghosh was tested positive for Covid-19 recently and presently, he is not taking part in any administrative activities. He said besides his health issue, he decided not to leave his constituency because Mamata’s latest initiative ‘Duare Sarkar’ (government at your door-step) is being carried out there.

"Deb is based in north Bengal and travelling to Kolkata was not safe in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic," said a TMC leader. Deb is known as one of the most trusted lieutenants of Mamata.

Sinha from Bolpur said he was busy overseeing the preparedness ahead of the CM’s Bolpur visit on December 28 and 29. "I am very much with the TMC and I will be with the party. There is no question of shifting my political alignment," he said.

Banerjee, however, could not be contacted for his comments on his absence in the cabinet meeting. In the recent past, Banerjee expressed his discontent on several occasions on the issue of the functioning of a section of party functionaries.

TMC’s secretary-general Partha Chatterjee held two meetings with Banerjee to pacify his disgruntlement. There is a strong buzz that Banerjee might quit the TMC and join the BJP.

"After our party’s former strongman Suvendu Adhikary joined the BJP, a similar move by Banerjee was doing the rounds. So, the absence of Banerjee, who resides near the state secretariat, in the cabinet meeting is significant politically," said another TMC leader.


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