Calcutta, May 20: The Congress is set to get one more cabinet minister to add to its tally of two sometime next week, sources in the party said.
The Congress will get seven ministerial berths according to its understanding with the Trinamul Congress. Two Congress leaders, Manas Bhuniya and Abu Hena, were today sworn in cabinet ministers.
The partys second list of ministers will be for one cabinet minister and four ministers of state. An AICC leader who attended todays swearing-in said the party had requested Mamata to set aside the posts for it.
Shakeel Ahmed, the Congresss minder in Bengal, said he would submit the second list to the chief minister within a week.
I will finalise the second list after consulting Sonia Gandhi on Monday, he said.
The very short first list that Ahmed handed to Mamata last night comprised the names of state Congress president Bhuniya and legislature party chief Hena.
Ahmed said the remaining five Congress ministers would be sworn in sometime next week.
Party sources said the names being considered were D.P. Roy from Jalpaiguris Alipurduar, Ajoy De from Nadias Shantipur, Asit Mal from Birbhums Hansan and Rabindranath Chatterjee from Burdwans Katwa. The fifth slot is a toss between Malda Congress leaders Sabina Yasmin (Mothabari) and Abu Naser Khan Chowdhury (Sujapur).
The sources, however, did not divulge who among the leaders was being considered for the cabinet berth.
Several Congress leaders questioned the delay in finalising the list. If Mamata can finalise her list of 36 ministers, why cant we decide on seven? Internal wrangles are preventing our leaders from finalising the remaining names.
A Congress source said Murshidabad strongman Adhir Chowdhury and North Dinajpurs Deepa Das Munshi were mounting pressure on the leadership to ensure that more MLAs from their districts are made ministers.
Chowdhury, the source said, has demanded the inclusion of one more legislator from his district in the list. Hena is from Lalgola in Murshidabad. Deepa too is pushing hard to get one MLA from North Dinajpur into the list. No leader from the district figures on the Congress list so far.
Both Chowdhury and Deepa have strained relations with Mamata and the Trinamul chief apparently has reservations about inducting MLAs close to the two leaders into the cabinet.
Ahmed said the delay in zeroing in on the ministerial candidates was because we have to accommodate legislators from the minority community, women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to maintain a balance.