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Dola on women’s panel

Calcutta, July 4: Dola Sen, the Bengal chief of the Trinamul trade union, has been made the vice-chairperson of the state women’s commission.

Trinamul sources said the move was aimed at keeping Dola, who lost the Lok Sabha poll from Asansol, in “good humour”.

Dola has replaced Shehnaz Kadri, a niece of the late Congress leader A.B.A. Ghani Khan Chowdhury. Sources close to Kadri, who joined Trinamul after the 2011 Assembly elections, said she was “hurt” at the way she was removed.

The sources said Dola was given the women’s commission post days before Burdwan leader Malay Ghatak was re-inducted into the cabinet. Ghatak had apparently been forced to quit the cabinet for failing to ensure Dola’s victory in the election. According to the sources, Dola had complained to Mamata Banerjee against Ghatak.

Ghatak, who used to hold the agriculture portfolio, returned as labour minister on Wednesday, replacing Dola’s mentor Purnendu Bose.

“Dola used to enjoy additional advantage in trade union circles because of her closeness to Bose. She was made the women’s commission vice-chairperson to keep her in good humour at a time the government was taking steps to get Ghatak back and shift Bose out of the labour department,” a Trinamul vice-president said.

Ghatak was re-inducted because the party had “realised” that a “son of the soil” was required to recover ground in Asansol, which has a considerable number of labourers. “That is why he has been made the labour minister,” a Trinamul leader said.

The Trinamul vice-president said Dola was given the women’s panel post also to keep a check on its chairperson — Sunanda Mukherjee. Mukherjee is the wife of RSP state secretary and former minister Kshiti Goswami.

Dola said tonight that she had been appointed as the vice-chairperson a month ago.

The Trinamul sources said the government had appointed actresses Locket Chatterjee and Nayana Das, Trinamul MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay’s wife, as members of the state women’s commission.