After Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, 43 legislators of her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), were sworn in as ministers on Monday. A low-key event owing to the COVID-19 pandemic was held at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata. The MLA’s were administered the oath of office by Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.
Notably, the development comes after the TMC registered a thumping victory in the recently-concluded Assembly polls. It decimated the BJP to just 77 seats, while winning 213 seats. Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee also attended the swearing-in ceremony.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari has been elected as the Leader of Opposition in the Bengal Assembly.
— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) May 10, 2021
Ministers of Mamata Cabinet
Three TMC leaders Amit Mitra, Bratya Basu and Rathin Ghosh were sworn in virtually. While Amit Mitra is unwell, both Basu and Ghosh are recuperating from COVID-19. Other elected legislators— Partha Chatterjee, Subrata Mukherjee, Firhad Hakim and Sadhan Pande—also took oath at the ceremony on Monday.
Those who were sworn in include 24 cabinet ministers and 10 ministers of state (independent charge). TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee was last week sworn in as the chief minister of West Bengal for the third consecutive term after securing a massive mandate.
Bengal Governor tweets
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar in a tweet said that on the advice of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, allocation of portfolios has been made to all the ministers including the CM.
He said, “On the advice of Chief Minister @MamataOfficial and in accordance with Article 164 of the Constitution I have made allocation of portfolios to all the ministers including CM. Expect team now to work in overdrive for public welfare and take steps for return to normalcy.”
Jagdeep Dhankar accorded sanction for prosecution of ministers
Interestingly, before the swearing-in ceremony, the governor accorded sanction to prosecute Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and Sovan Chatterjee in the Narada scam. All four were ministers and are accused of wrongdoings, with the CBI probing the case.
In a statement, it was said, “After the CBI had made a request and made available entire documentation relevant to the case to the honourable governor and he invoked his powers under Article 163 and 164 of the Constitution, being the competent authority to accord such sanction.”
Governor accorded sanction for prosecution of Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra & Sovan Chatterjee being appointing authority of Ministers @MamataOfficial under Article 164 & thus competent authority
Media reports that sanction was for being MLA is incorrect. pic.twitter.com/vqEg7Cv6OW
— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) May 9, 2021
The Narada sting tapes which were made public before the West Bengal 2016 assembly elections claimed to have been shot in 2014. In the video ministers, MPs and MLAs were allegedly seen receiving money from representatives of a fictitious company in lieu of promised favours. The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the sting operation in March 2017.
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