To cut Adhikaris’ clout, Mamata picks six ministers from Medinipur region

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari has significant influence in his home district of East Medinipur and also in other parts of the entire region.

IN A bid to counter the “Adhikari impact” in undivided Medinipur, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has included six ministers from the region in her team of 43 ministers.

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari has significant influence in his home district of East Medinipur and also in other parts of the entire region. Since 2006, Suvendu had put in place strong organisation for TMC. On this organisational base, Mamata Banerjee not only tasted success with the Nandigram movement and the TMC has also claimed maximum seats in these two Medinipur districts.

In December last year, when Suvendu left the TMC, the BJP expected that they would win all seats of East Midnapore and majority seats of West Midnapore. But the results of the recently held Assembly polls have made it clear that in both East and West Midnapore, TMC got majority seats. In West Midnapore, TMC got 13 of 15 seats and in East Midnapore, TMC got nine out of 16 seats. However, even as the Chief Minister’s party won the elections handsomely, Suvendu defeated her to claim the Nandigram seat in Purba Medinipur for the BJP.

The composition of Mamata’s government, with the “Medinipur factor” evident, suggests the TMC is attempting to regain lost ground in these parts.

A total of 43 TMC leaders were sworn in as ministers, including 19 ministers of state, in a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhavan on Monday, adhering to Covid protocols. Mamata held the first meeting of the Cabinet hours later. On May 5, she was sworn in as Chief Minister by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

Soumen Mahapatra, known for his anti-Suvendu stance in East Midnapore, was already in the ministry. He was again sworn in as Cabinet minister and has been allotted irrigation and Waterways portfolios. Manas Bhuyian, another veteran leader of West Midnapore has been brought in and given water resources investigation and development department.

Akhil Giri, who is also known to be anti-Suvendu, has been given the Minister of State independent charge of fisheries portfolio. Giri has been an MLA for a long time, but this is the first time he has got a ministry. He said, “I am happy that I have been given this opportunity and responsibility. This is Didi’s (Mamata Banerjee) win and we are her soldiers.” Another MLA, an IPS officer-turned-politician Humayun Kabir got independent charge of Technical Education, Training and Skill Development.

Another TMC MLA Sheuli Saha, was given Minister of State berth Panchayet and Rural development. When many TMC leaders went to BJP, she stayed back and in this election, she also won from her old constituency, Keshpur. She said, “Suvendu has always credit due to other people. Now in this election, it has been proved that, nothing is bigger than Mamata Banerjee.”

Another leader, TMC MLA Srikant Mahato from West Midnapore, also got a Minister of State berth. He is MOS in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise and Textiles department.

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