Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reshuffled her ministry on Wednesday after dropping three ministers from the cabinet. She later said this was done to reduce the workload of some of the ministers.
While the reason for the removal of the three ministers -- Churamani Mahato, James Kujur and Abani Joardar -- is not known officially, Trinamool Congress (TMC) insiders view it as a fallout of the party's relatively poor show in some pockets of the state in the recently concluded panchayat election, which helped the BJP increase its vote-share.
Senior cabinet minister Subrata Mukherjee, who was holding the important Panchayat and Rural Development portfolio, besides Public Health Engineering (PHE), will now be in charge of only the first one, an official notification said.
In addition, he has been given the Water Resources Investigation and Development portfolio, which was held by Soumen Mahapatra, it added.
Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee has been shifted to the Backward Class Welfare department, while Mahapatra has been given the key Irrigation and Waterways portfolio. Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee has been stripped of his Environment portfolio, which has been given to Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari as an additional charge, the notification said.
Chatterjee retained the Fire and Emergency Services and Housing portfolios. Moloy Ghatak, who has been given the additional charge of PHE, will also hold the portfolios of Law and Labour, the notification said.
Minister of State Chandrima Bhattacharya retained her Health and Family Welfare and Land and Land Reforms departments, besides being given independent charge of Personnel and Administrative Reforms and e-governance. She also received additional charges of Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation and Tribal Development, the notification added.