Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday restored the portfolios to two of her ministers — Binay Krishna Barman and Shantiram Mahato — who were stripped off their ministries after the party’s below-par performance in the Lok Sabha election in May this year.
She has, however, taken away the portfolio of non-conventional energy from Shovandev Chatterjee, who recently made news about her tiff with party MP from Kolkata South, Mala Roy. Chatterjee is now left with the power portfolio.
While Mahato has been given back Paschimanchal Development Department, Barman has made Minister for Backward Class Welfare and Tribal Development.
Rajib Banerjee, who held the Backward Class Welfare and Tribal Development Department after it was taken from Barman, has now been made forest minister, which was held by Bratya Basu.
Sources in the ruling Trinamool Congress said the portfolios were restored to Barman and Mahato after a positive report of them from political analyst Prashant Kishor, who has been hired by Mamata Banerjee to strategise for her party for the 2021 Assembly elections.
After the Trinamool Congress lost most of the Lok Sabha seats in the state’s northern and western part of the state in May this year, Barman and Mahato, who were in charge of the two regions, had to pay the political price for it as they became ministers without portfolios.
Sources said that in the aftermath of the Lok Sabha results, Kishor’s team had submitted adverse reports on Burman and Mahato to Mamata. However, a detailed report by Kishor’s team that was submitted to Mamata recently stated that Barman and Mahato were “very transparent leaders”. Acting on the basis of Kishor’s latest report, Banerjee decided to return the ministries back to Barman and Mahato, Trinamool sources said.