Mamata take charge of railway ministry in Kolkata

May 26th, 2009 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Kolkata/New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Concerned over the plight of people in cyclone-hit West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee broke tradition Tuesday to formally take charge of her railways portfolio at the Eastern Railway headquarters instead of New Delhi.
“I have to be with the people in my state at this hour. That is why I have taken charge of my ministry here,” Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata, after Cyclone Aila left 12 people dead and a trail of devastation in her home state.

According to officials in the national capital, Banerjee was later scheduled to hold a teleconference with ministry officials to discuss how to deploy all the available resources with the railways to help those displaced by the cyclone.

The founder of the Trinamool Congress, she has also spoken to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee several times since Monday to ensure there was no paucity of funds and resources to help those affected by the cyclone.

According to a railway ministry official in New Delhi, over the next few days Banerjee will function from a camp office at Kolkata so that she can attend to her administrative duties while staying in the city.

Banerjee said before being inducted into Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government that West Bengal would remain her political focus and she would spend more time in Kolkata rather than New Delhi.

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