[Mamata Banerjee and Maulana Siddiquallah Chowdhury in a file photo.]
Kolkata: Maulana Siddiquallah Chowdhury, General Secretary of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind West Bengal unit, who won the 2016 assembly election from the Mangalkote assembly seat, has been inducted as a minister in 41-member Matmata Banerjee cabinet.
Besides Chowdhury, six other Muslims have also sworn-in as ministers. Among them are Abdur Rezzak Mollah, the former CPI(M) leader joined Trinamool Congress months before the elections. He won from Bhangar and Ghulam Rabbani who represents Goalpokhar in the Assembly.
Other Muslim MLAs who have been inducted in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet are Zakir Hossain, who represents Jangipur in the Assembly, Firhad Hakim, who represents Manbazar in the Assembly, Giasuddin Mollah, the former Minority Affairs minister who has been elected from Magrahat constituency and Javed Khan, the former Minister for Disaster Management who has won the election from Kasba constituency.
The newly elected West Bengal assembly has a total of 59 Muslim MLAs.
While Firhad Hakim has retained his portfolio as Minister of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs, Rezzak Mollah, who had been a minister for 29 years in the erstwhile Left Front regime under both chief ministers Jyoti Basu and his successor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, got food processing and horticulture departments.
Javed Khan has also retained his portfolio as Minister for Disaster Management.
Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as Chief Minister of West Bengal on Friday, beginning her second stint in the once-Left dominated State. She will also look after key ministries like home, health and family welfare, hill affairs, land and land reforms, information and cultural affairs, minorities affairs and Madrasah education, micro and small scale enterprises, personnel and administrative reforms.
The newly-inducted West Bengal government headed by Mamata Banerjee has 41 ministers, including 17 new faces. Among them, five are Ministers of State holding independent charge, and eight are junior ministers.
“There will be representation from all districts, except Malda. In Malda we don’t have any representation,” Banerjee had said. Darjeeling and Malda are the two districts where the Trinamool failed to open its account.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo attended the swearing-in ceremony.
Others who attended the ceremony include Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kerjriwal and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad.
Unlike the first time when she took oath at Raj Bhavan and walked amidst surging masses to the State Secretariat Writers’ Buildings, this time, thousands assembled of busiest arterial road in Kolkata, to witness the swearing-in ceremony.