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regular-article-logo Monday, 24 June 2024

Bengal Cabinet reshuffle: Spat with Indranil Sen 'costs' Babul Supriyo tourism berth

Supriyo retained IT and got the non-conventional and renewable energy sources department

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 12.09.23, 06:05 AM
Babul Supriyo, Indranil Sen.

Babul Supriyo, Indranil Sen. File pictures

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday removed Babul Supriyo from the tourism department and reinstated Indranil Sen at its helm in a cabinet reshuffle that included other minor changes in the portfolios of ministers.

“The proposal for the reshuffle was sent to Raj Bhavan and signed by the governor (C.V. Ananda Bose) last evening (Sunday). A notification to this effect has been issued,” Mamata told the media at Nabanna on Monday.

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Supriyo’s removal from tourism, a source said, was imminent after the recent public spat between him and Sen in the Assembly.

“The chief minister was not very happy with the minister’s (Supriyo’s) performance in the tourism department.... After the public spat initiated by Supriyo, his removal was just a matter of time as several ministers lodged complaints against him with the chief minister,” added the source.

The Telegraph had earlier reported that Supriyo had accused Sen, whom Mamata had appointed as the chairman of the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation recently, of interfering in the affairs of the tourism department. Supriyo also apparently told Sen that his non-performance in the department was why Mamata gave it to the former.

During the spat, Sen was heard telling Supriyo he could lodge a complaint against him (Sen) with the chief minister.

Sen didn’t comment on the issue, but sources close to him said that he got involved in some affairs of the tourism department only because Mamata appointed him as the chairman of the tourism corporation.

Sen was earlier removed from the tourism department to pave way for Supriyo after his victory in the April 2022 bypoll to the Ballygunge Assembly seat. He had additional charge of the IT department. Late in 2021, Supriyo resigned as the BJP MP from Asansol following his fallout with the saffron party.

Sen will now helm the tourism department as a minister of state (independent charge) in addition to the information and cultural affairs department where he is a junior minister.

Supriyo retained IT and got the non-conventional and renewable energy sources department.

Sources said the move made it clear that Mamata was unhappy with what happened in the Assembly.

“She was not happy after Sen was accused of interfering in the tourism department’s affairs particularly after she herself asked Sen to chair the tourism development corporation. She had asked Supriyo to use Sen’s expertise to improve the department’s activities during a cabinet meeting,” said a source.

Other changes

Panchayat minister Pradip Majumdar gets additional charge of the cooperation department along with his existing portfolio. Cooperation minister Arup Roy gets the department of food processing industries and horticulture. Forest minister Jyotipriyo Mallick gets additional charge of the department of public enterprises and industrial reconstruction.

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