Mamata Banerjee to be sworn in today, Narada-tainted faces in team

Mamata Banerjee to be sworn in today, Narada-tainted faces in team

Banerjee, who led the Trinamool Congress to a resounding victory in the recent assembly polls, said the portfolios are yet to be decided.

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Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress won the assembly elections bagging 211 seats. A drone is used to monitor preparations on the eve of the swearing-in ceremony, in Kolkata on Thursday. (Express Photo by Subham Dutta)

Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, former Indian cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla and singer Indranil Sen will be among 17 new faces in Mamata Banerjee’s 42-member ministry. Mamata will take oath as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for a second term on Friday.

On Thursday, she met Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi and submitted the list of ministers who will take oath along with her at the ceremony on Red Road here at 12.45 pm.

Officials said an elaborate security cover has been arranged for the function — around 1,000 policemen will be deployed on Red Road. This is the first time a chief minister will take oath on Red Road in an event “open to the public”.

“I have submitted the list to the honourable Governor. In all, 42 of us will take oath tomorrow. All castes, religions and districts, except Malda, will get representation. In Malda, we don’t have any representation. Out of the 42, there are a few new faces. The rest are the same,” she told reporters, adding that portfolios were yet to be decided.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Assembly election campaign rally at Jitu Jhuri in Purulia on Monday. Express photo by Subham Dutta.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Assembly election campaign rally at Jitu Jhuri in Purulia. Express photo by Subham Dutta.

Besides Sovan, Shukla and Sen, the new faces include Sovandeb Chattopadhaya, Abani Mohan Joarder, Abdur Rezzak Molla, Suvendu Adhikari, Rabindranath Ghosh.

While Narada-stung minister Firhad Hakim retained his berth, mayor Sovan, whose name also came up in the sting controversy, has been accommodated too.

“Sovan has been loyal to Mamata over the years. And as mayor, he has done a lot of work in Kolkata,” said a source. While Rezzak Molla and Siddiqullah Choudhury, instrumental in garnering Muslim support, have been rewarded, Sovandeb is likely to play a key role in dealing with trade unions in the state.

State BJP leaders have decided to stay away from the function, but Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Babul Supriyo have confirmed their presence.