Mamata reshuffles portfolios after dropping three ministers

Kolkata, June 6 (IANS) A day after she removed three ministers, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday reshuffled her ministry, saying the exercise was undertaken to reduce the workload of some of them.

The three ministers – Churamani Mahato, James Kujur and Abani Joardar – resigned on Wednesday, apparently under Banerjee’s instructions.

While Joardar has not been keeping well for long, Mahato and Kujur’s removal came against the backdrop of Trinamoool Congress’ relatively lacklustre performance in some tribal areas of the state in the recent Panchayat (rural body) polls.

However, so far there have been no official comments from the party or the government regarding the reasons for the three’s removal.

In the reshuffle, veteran minister Subrata Mukherjee has been entrusted with the Water Resources Investigation and Development portfolio, in addition to the vital Panchayat and Rural Development.

However, the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Ministry, so far run by him, has now been given to Moloy Ghatak, who would also continue to hold charge of Law and Labour Departments, an official notification said.

Soumen Mahapatra, who so far was in charge of Water Resources Investigation and Development, would now get the crucial Irrigation and Waterways Ministry. Rajib Banerjee, who ran the Irrigation Department so long, would now move to Backward Class Welfare Department.

Sovan Chatterjee, also the Kolkata Mayor, has had his wings clipped, as he lost the Environment Ministry, but retained Fire and Emergency Services and Housing portfolios.

Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari has got the additional charge of Environment, the notification said.

Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare and Land and Land Reforms departments Chandrima Bhattacharya has also been handed the independent charge of Personnel and Administrative Reforms and e-governance.

She has also got the additional charges of Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation and Tribal Development.

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