West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday dropped three ministers from her cabinet and asked them to concentrate on the Trinamool Congress’s (TMC) organisational works ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha polls.
Confirming this, Banerjee, who is also the TMC chief, told newsmen, “All the three ministers have been asked to concentrate on the party’s organisational works.”
Those removed from the cabinet are — Backward Class Welfare Minister Churamani Mahato, Tribal Development Minister James Kujur and Abani Joardar, who did not hold a portfolio.
All three had sent their resignations to the chief minister, sources in the state secretariat said.
Joardar earlier held the portfolio of correctional (jail) administration, refugee and rehabilitation. He did not have a portfolio now due to health problems.
To a question on whether new faces would be inducted into the cabinet, Banerjee said, “That is our prerogative, you need not worry about it.”
While the exact reason for the removal of the ministers is not known officially, 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.