West Bengal: In significant reshuffle, two ministers allotted crucial portfolios

Kolkata, November 17 (PTI) The Mamata Banerjee cabinet has made a significant reshuffle with two ministers without portfolios being given independent charge of some crucial departments.

Binay Krishna Barman has been given charges of the Backward Classes Welfare Department and the SC, ST and the Tribal Affairs Department, while Shantiram Mahato has been brought back as the minister for Western Region Development, a notification issued on Saturday, said.

Following the drubbing the Trinamool Congress received in the Lok Sabha elections, Banerjee had removed Barman, the MLA from Mathabhanga in Coochbehar district, from the post of Forest minister. The BJP bagged the Coochebehar seat from the TMC.

She had also removed Mahato, the legislator from Balarampur in Purulia, as the Western Region Development minister. The BJP won the Purulia Lok Sabha seat as well.

In the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP made deep inroads into the tribal belt of the state, which lies in the western region with some settlements in the north.

Rajib Banerjee, who was in-charge of the two departments allotted to Barman, has been made the minister of the Forest Department.

Bratya Basu, who was holding additional charges of the Forest Department, will now only look after the Science and Technology and Biotechnology Department, according to the notification.

Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee has been given additional charges of the Department of Non-Conventional and Renewal Energy Sources.

Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, who was holding additional charges of the department allotted to Mukherjee, will now only be in charge of the Power Department, it said. PTI SCH SOMSOM