A major reshuffle of the West Bengal Cabinet will be initiated on Wednesday, in which a number of heavyweight members might lose their ministerial berths, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hinted on Monday.
"Lot of speculations are doing the rounds on this issue. I want to clarify that some reshuffling is required in the state Cabinet for the purpose of smooth functioning. We will announce the details of the reshuffle on Wednesday at 4 p.m. In this process, some existing Cabinet members will be relieved of their ministerial responsibilities and their experience will be utilised in party organization. Similarly, four to five new faces will be inducted," she said.
The Chief Minister also said that following the arrest of Partha Chatterjee by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials, the three departments held by him earlier, had come under her control.
"It is not possible for me to handle the responsibilities of so many departments. At the same time, following the demise of two of our senior ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Sadhan Pandey last year, there had been a vacuum in those departments as well. So, the Cabinet reshuffle will take place."
Meanwhile, a senior Cabinet member said that young faces with clean images will be inducted after the reshuffle.
"As of the ministers who will be dropped and sent for organisational works, you can expect a major surprise with the inclusion of a couple of heavyweight faces in the list," he added.
He also said that with an aim to clean up the image of the Trinamool Congress, which has been to an extent tainted by Partha Chatterjee's arrest and huge treasure recovery by ED sleuths, the party has already started the process reshuffling of district leaderships.
"This time the reshuffles will be at all levels and those changes will give a clear signal about zero tolerance on the issue of corruption," the Cabinet member added.
In her announcement, the Chief Minister also said that soon seven more new districts will be created in the state by bifurcating North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and Murshidabad.
With this, the total number of districts in the state will increase from 23 to 30.