Men who will matter in Mamata’s Bengal

May 13th, 2011 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, May 13 (IANS) With the Trinamool Congress set to form the government in West Bengal after sweeping the assembly polls, here is a look at the men who could play key roles in would-be chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s team.

Partha Chatterjee: Trinamool Congress heavyweight and Leader of Opposition in the outgoing assembly, Chatterjee, 54, is likely to be the number two in Banerjee’s cabinet. He is expected to land some plum portfolios which could be industry or information and culture. Chatterjee defeated Anupam Debsarkar of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) from Behala West constituency in South 24 Parganas.

Amit Mitra: FICCI secretary general and noted economist, Mitra, 63, is being touted as the next finance minister. A PhD from Duke University in the US, he has been assisting Banerjee as chairman of an expert committee in drawing up business plans for the railways since she got the portfolio in 2009. Mitra has become a giant killer after defeating Asim Dasgupa, the state finance minister for the last 24 years, from the Khardaha constituency in North 24 Parganas.

Subrata Mukherjee: An efficient administrator, Mukherjee, 64, handled important portfolios like home, information and public relations, youth affairs as minister of state in the Congress ministry headed by Siddhartha Shankar Ray (1972-77). Joining the Trinamool, he had a love-hate relationship with Banerjee, who had made him the Kolkata mayor (2000-2005) when the Trinamool won the civic body for the first time. Mukherjee later quit Trinamool and rejoined the Congress but came back to the Trinamool last year. Mukherjee defeated Fuad Halim of CPI-M from Ballygunge constituency in Kolkata.

Bratya Basu: An eminent theatre personality, Basu, 42, has been strongly defending the Trinamool chief’s policies in television debates and media meets as the face of the intellectuals and celebrities who joined Banerjee in her fight against the Left Front in the aftermath of the happenings in Singur and Nandigram. Basu defeated Housing Minister and CPI-M leader Gautam Deb from Dum Dum constituency in North 24 Parganas, and is in the reckoning for a ministerial berth unless he wants to continue his commitment to theatre.

Sovan Chatterjee: The low-profile Kolkata mayor, Chatterjee, 47, is a trusted aide of Banerjee. While he may continue as mayor, he is gong to play an important part in the administrative decisions and policies of the new government. He defeated Kumkum Chakraborty of CPI-M from Behala Purba constituency in South 24 Parganas.

Sovandeb Chattopadhyay: The first party legislator, Chattopadhyay, 67, has remained steadfastly loyal to Banerjee over the years ever since he quit the Congress along with her. A boxer in his young days, Chattopadhyay defeated Santanu Bose of the CPI-M from the Trinamool bastion Rashbehari constituency in Kolkata.

Manish Gupta: Very few politicians, least of all a non-political personality, have had such a high-profile entry into the political arena. Gupta has emerged as a giant killer in his maiden electoral battle by humbling Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Jadavpore. A soldier-turned-bureaucrat, Gupta, 69, had served as state chief secretary under Jyoti Basu and Bhattacharjee, and comes into politics with four decades of administrative experience.

Javed Khan: A prominent Muslim face of the party, Khan, 55, is a former mayor-in- council member of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. He defeated Satarup Ghosh of CPI-M from Kasba constituency in South 24 Parganas.

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