Three ministers in the Mamata Banerjee government in whose areas Trinamool Congress candidates lost in the Lok Sabha elections, were censured Wednesday by the Chief Minister during a cabinet meeting she presided over at Nabanna.
The trio include tourism minister Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury, and child and women development minister Sabitri Mitra — both from Malda where party candidates lost to Congress candidates Mausam Benazir Noor, (Malda Uttar) and Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury (Malda Dakshin). The other leader to be censured was Sagardighi MLA and minister of state for public works Subrata Saha, who was pit in the dock over the defeat of party candidate Indranil Sen who lost to state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Choudhury at Baharampur.
Sabitri Mitra and Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury later engaged in a vitriolic spat against each other, with the latter accusing Mitra of usurping the party funds.
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“You people did not do your best to get our candidates elected. In fact, what you did was contrary to the interests of the party. We will not tolerate it,” Mamata reportedly said during the cabinet meeting.
However, at present, the party won’t take any other action against them, said TMC sources. In the evening, Sabitri Mitra and Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury met minister for parliamentary affairs and information technology Partha Chatterjee in his chamber at Nabanna. Sources said, the duo got another dressing down from Chatterjee for their recent public spat and also their performance in the campaign.
Emerging from the meeting while Mitra said she was repentant for the poor results, Choudhury was defiant saying he would continue to do Rajdharma. “It was a Tsunami that came and it knocked down many big shots. West Bengal too was affected by that,” Choudhury said, in an apparent reference to the stupendous performance of the BJP.
Contacted, Partha Chatterjee said the party was reviewing the results and no leader, if he or she was found wanting in their efforts to get the party candidates elected, would be spared. “The party has taken a serious view of the three ministers’ performance,” he added.
In the cabinet meeting, the chief minister named Arup Roy as the new minister for agriculture in place of Moloy Ghatak. Roy was a minister without portfolio after losing the charge of the department of agricultural marketing on November 6 last year following a potato scarcity in the state.
Ghatak had tendered his resignation Monday on the instructions of the chief minister who got furious after the defeat of party candidate Dola Sen in Assansol. Sen had lost to BJP’s Babul Supriyo. Mamata took the action after getting reports from party sources that Ghatak did not extend his co-operation to Sen, an outsider in Asansol. Mamata had also ordered the removal of Ghatak’s brother Abhijit from the post of the district president of Trinamool Youth Congress.