Over A month after he was sacked from the cabinet on charges of sabotage following Trinamool Congress candidate Dola Sen’s loss from Assansol Lok Sabha constituency, Moloy Ghatak was reinducted in a Cabinet reshuffle Wednesday — the second this year by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Ghatak, who earlier held the portfolio of agriculture, was sworn in as labour minister. The incumbent labour minister, Purnendu Basu, has been moved to agriculture ministry.
The sacking of Ghatak, an eminent lawyer from Asansol, had triggered road blockades and dharnas by his supporters. Ghatak, however, kept mum through this, which apparently made Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee happy.
Mamata was also facing pressure from her senior partry leaders for Ghatak’s re-induction.
Meanwhile, Basu’s shift comes following serious labour issues manifested in the killing of a jute mill CEO by irate workers and prolonged suspension of work at Hindustan Motor’s Uttarpara plant.
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A former Naxal leader, Basu, who joined TMC amid Singur movement, had the labour portfolio since the party came to power in 2011.
Two new faces — Jyotirmoy Kar, TMC MLA from Patashpur in East Midnapore. and Ashis Banerjee, the party legislator from Rampurhat in Birbhum district — were also inducted in the Cabinet Wednesday.
Kar has been given the portfolio of Co-operation. Banerjee was sworn in as minister of state (independent charge) for Ayush, and minister of state for school education and higher education.
While Rachpal Singh remained the minister for planning, Sabitri Mitra, Nure Alam Chaudhury and Subrata Saha remained ministers without portfolios. Singh, a former IPS officer, will now hold the planning portfolio.
The new ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by the governor M K Naryayanan at Raj Bhavan.
Banerjee, her cabinet colleagues and Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra were present among others at the occasion.