Mamata Banerjee's rainbow cabinet

1 month ago 49

One of the ascendant themes of Mamata Banerjee’s assembly predetermination run was the thought of an inclusive West Bengal that had thing to connection to each its citizens, cutting crossed religion, caste, sex and societal status. Public endorsement of it came arsenic her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), won the predetermination with a handsome 213 of the full 294 seats. ‘Inclusive Bengal’ present finds reflection successful Mamata’s 43-member furniture that took the oath of bureau connected May 10. The squad consists of 9 women, 7 Muslims, 8 SC/ST MLAs and professionals from divers fields—an actor, a cricketer, a theatre personality, a vocalist and 2 doctors. In all, determination are 15 caller faces.

Of the 8 SC/ST ministers, 4 are from Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram and West Midnapore districts. In the 2019 wide election, these areas had voted successful favour of the BJP, which won 5 of the six Lok Sabha seats successful these 4 districts. In presumption of legislative assembly strength, this should person meant 32 seats for the saffron party. In this election, the TMC breached the BJP turf, winning 26 of the 40 seats successful these districts. The BJP’s attempts astatine Hindu consolidation did not wage off. Tribal voters felt the BJP’s assertive Hindutva run threatened to overrun their ain ineffable altars of worship. Adivasi boys—with saffron uttariya astir their necks and reddish tilak connected foreheads— campaigning for the BJP did not spell down good with the tribal people.

Tribal identity

Recognising the publication of STs, particularly adivasi women, successful her victory, Mamata has fixed furniture berths to 3 ‘daughters of the soil’ from the distant villages of Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia—Santhali movie prima and Jhargram MLA Birbaha Hansda, Jyotsna Mandi and Sandhya Rani Tudu.

Hansda has been appointed inferior curate of forests. This seems an due duty arsenic she represents the tribal radical of Jangalmahal who beryllium heavy connected wood onshore and nutrient for their regular needs. Hansda is the girl of tribal politicians Naren Hansda and Chunibala Hansda. The Santhali panchi sari she wore for the oath-taking ceremonial astatine Raj Bhawan was an assertion of her tribal identity, civilization and customs.

Jyotsna Mandi, who represents the Ranibandh spot successful Bankura territory and has been appointed inferior curate for nutrient and supplies, elaborated connected wherefore she thinks women voters had braved the summertime vigor and the pandemic to queue up astatine polling booths and ballot for the TMC. “The women successful our country accidental they are indebted [to Mamata] for ensuring that their families are good fed and looked after. They speech of the [free] ration, bicycles for their [schoolgoing] daughters and the [election] committedness of a monthly stipend(Rs 500-1,000) for women,” said Mandi. Topping her priorities are containing the dispersed of Covid successful her constituency and ramping up the Khatra sub-divisional infirmary truthful that patients bash not person to question to the Bankura territory infirmary immoderate 50 km away.

Minority report

In her post-victory speeches, Mamata has repeatedly thanked Bengal’s women arsenic good arsenic Muslims for re-electing her. Among the cardinal Muslim faces successful the furniture is Siddiqullah Chowdhury, who retains the wide acquisition hold and room services portfolio. Chowdhury says Mamata has kept her connection connected 7 furniture berths for Muslims.

Sabina Yeasmin, who had defected to the TMC from the Congress successful 2018, has been made curate of authorities (MoS) for irrigation & waterways and North Bengal development. It is seen arsenic a designation of her efforts to assistance the TMC container 8 of the 12 seats successful Malda, erstwhile a bastion of the Congress and its heavyweight A.B.A Ghani Khan Choudhury.

Former IPS serviceman Humayun Kabir, who defeated different erstwhile IPS officer, Bharati Ghosh of the BJP, has been made MoS (independent charge) for method education, grooming and accomplishment development.

Two ministers person been picked from the erstwhile Congress stronghold of Murshidabad, wherever the TMC bagged 18 of 20 seats. For the archetypal time, Mamata has appointed a full-time minister, Md Ghulam Rabbani, for number affairs and madrassa education. In her erstwhile term, Didi handled this portfolio herself, assisted by a inferior minister.

North Bengal, comprising North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Malda districts, is represented successful the furniture by arsenic galore arsenic 5 ministers. The purpose is to springiness a pugnacious contention to the 7 BJP MPs successful this region. In 2019, the TMC drew a blank successful the 8 Lok Sabha seats of North Bengal, which screen immoderate 54 assembly seats. This time, the enactment has made immoderate headway, winning 16 assembly seats. The remaining 38 went to the BJP.

One of the reasons down the BJP’s waning popularity successful North Bengal whitethorn beryllium the nationalist cognition that the party’s MPs person a lackadaisical attitude. That Nisith Pramanik, the BJP’s Coochbehar MP who was made to contention the assembly predetermination from Dinhata, won the spot by a borderline of conscionable 50-odd votes shows the standard of nationalist dissatisfaction. BJP MPs Locket Chatterjee, Swapan Dasgupta and Babul Supriyo besides got a drubbing.

Old and new

While Mamata has picked 15 caller faces successful her cabinet, she continues to trust heavy connected TMC veterans to grip astir of the cardinal portfolios. Former concern curate Amit Mitra, who did not contention the assembly predetermination owed to sick health, has been brought backmost to grip the state’s finances—a cardinal work successful these times of the pandemic. Mitra, though, has been relieved of the commerce and manufacture department, which helium held successful the archetypal 2 presumption on with finance.

The likes of Partha Chatterjee, Subrata Mukherjee, Firhad Hakim, Shashi Panja and Chandrima Bhattacharya person been allotted cardinal portfolios. Chatterjee, who was acquisition curate successful the erstwhile term, has been fixed complaint of industry, commerce and enterprise; IT and electronics; and parliamentary affairs. Mukherjee continues to clasp the panchayat and agrarian improvement portfolio on with the further complaint of nationalist enterprises and concern reconstruction. Hakim is the curate for transport and lodging portion Bhattacharya volition grip municipality improvement and municipal affairs. Panja retains women and kid improvement and societal welfare.

Allegations of corruption person prompted immoderate pruning arsenic well. The foods and supplies portfolio was taken distant from Jyotipriyo Mullick implicit alleged corruption successful nutrient organisation during the erstwhile term. The nationalist works department, earlier with Arup Biswas, has gone to Moloy Ghatak. Insiders accidental Mamata was annoyed with Biswas implicit reports of deep-seated corruption successful the department. Manturam Pakhira mislaid the Sundarbans affairs section to Mamata loyalist Bankim Hazra, who belongs to Sagar Island, the southernmost extremity of Bengal. The crushed for this shuffle is allegations of nepotism successful Cyclone Amphan relief.

Some portfolio allocations person raised eyebrows, specified arsenic that of TMC seasoned Sovondeb Chattopadhyay and arguable person Becharam Manna. Chattopadhyay, known for his large footprint successful commercialized national politics, has been fixed complaint of agriculture portion Manna, a husbandman turned politician, has got the labour department.

Mamata has made it wide that ministers volition request to vet each large decisions taken by their departments. Two committees person been formed—a halfway committee connected industries with Mamata arsenic the caput and different nether the main caput to instrumentality argumentation decisions and reappraisal improvement work. Didi appears much anxious than ever to guarantee a caller section successful Bengal’s development.

Some of the salient caller faces successful Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet

Birbaha Hansda (Santhali movie star)- MoS for forests

“I volition spell doorway to door, arsenic promised, and screen each 334 booths successful my constituency wrong a year”

Humayun Kabir (Former IPS officer) - MoS (independent charge) for method education, grooming and accomplishment development

“As a minister, I shall stay liable and duty-bound. Law and bid was my forte, but this (technical education) could airs caller challenges."

Jyotsna Mandi (MLA from Ranibandh) - MoS for nutrient and supplies

“Women voted for a pistillate who empowered them. They queued up since aboriginal morning, without doing cooking oregon household chores, to ballot for Mamata Banerjee.”

Manoj Tiwary (Cricketer-turned-politician) - MoS for sports and younker affairs

“I americium a immense instrumentality of Didi and cognize her arsenic a lukewarm idiosyncratic since my KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) days.”

Sabina Yeasmin (MLA from Motabhari) MoS for irrigation & waterways

“In a Congress stronghold, radical accepted maine and my party, rewriting Malda’s governmental script.”

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