Bengal: Reshuffle this week, CM Mamata to keep panchayat, few new faces likely

According to sources, Chief Minister Mamata is keen on retaining Amit Mitra in the finance department as an advisor with the status of a full-time minister.

The Trinamool Congress government will go in for a Cabinet reshuffle at the beginning of next week, most likely on Tuesday. The decision has been taken by the ruling party which swept the bypolls to four Assembly constituencies on October 30. Now, with the demise of state Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee on Thursday evening, two more ministerial berths are vacant and it is to be decided if those portfolios are to be allocated in the ensuing Cabinet reshuffle.

Also, on Monday, Amit Mitra will complete his six-month term as the state finance minister. The ailing two-time MLA, who did not contest the Assembly elections earlier this year, had to be elected a member of the legislative assembly within six months of returning as the finance minister in the new Mamata cabinet. However, Mitra voiced his desire to step down citing ill health.

According to sources, Chief Minister Mamata is keen on retaining Mitra in the finance department as an advisor with the status of a full-time minister.

It is understood that the CM will keep the finance department with herself for the time being, while a full-time minister will be named in the coming days. State Urban Development Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya is being seen as the frontrunner for the job.

Firhad Hakim, who was previously in charge of the urban development, could be back in the department, while a replacement may be named for the transport department. Newly elected Dinhata MLA Udayan Guha may be drafted into the Cabinet and an MLA from north or central Kolkata may also be included.

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