Bengal Congress seeks at least three union ministers from state

September 21st, 2012 - 6:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 21 (IANS) In the wake of six Trinamool Congress members resigning from the union council of ministers, the Congress’ West Bengal unit Friday urged its high command to consider nominating at least three ministers, including one with a suitable cabinet berth, from the party members in the state.

State Congress general secretary Om Prakash Mishra, in a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi, pitched for proportionate and adequate representation from the state in the union council of ministers.

“The question of proportionate and adequate representation from the state is engaging the attention of the people. Of the 42 Lok Sabha and 16 Rajya Sabha members from the state, we have only six members supporting the UPA government,” wrote Mishra.

“West Bengal being the third largest state, deserves political and ministerial representation in a proportionate way,” he added.

Mishra said proportionate and adequate representation of the Congress MPs from the state in the union council of ministers would be a moral booster for the party and help generate political support in the state for reform measures.

“Moreover, the withdrawal of Trinamool Congress presents a wonderful opportunity for the revival and rejuvenation of our party,” said Mishra.

He pointed out that the state had eight ministers - two cabinet (Pranab Mukherjee of Congress and Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress) and six ministers of state (all from Trinamool) when the UPA-II government started its journey in May 2009.

“Non-filling up of one slot by the Trinamool and Pranab Mukherjee’s elevation as president reduced the number to six, all of whom are resigning today (Friday).”

Six Trinamool Congress ministers resigned from the Manmohan Singh government Friday in line with party chief Mamata Banerjee’s announcement three days ago that she was withdrawing support to the UPA over its economic measures, including permitting foreign investment in multi-brand retail, hiking diesel price and capping at six the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders per family per year.

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