Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday reshuffled her Cabinet, the second time this year, with labour minister being shifted to agriculture, induction of two new faces and return of veteran TMC leader Moloy Ghatak.
Purnendu Basu`s shift from labour to agriculture ministry came at a time when the state is witnessing serious labour issues manifested in the death of a jute mill CEO at the hands of irate workers and prolonged suspension of work at Hindustan Motor`s Uttarpara plant where around 2,300 wage earners are living in a state of uncertainty.
A former Naxal leader, Basu, who joined TMC in the mid of Singur movement, has been holding the labour portfolio since the party came to power in 2011.
Another notable change was the re-induction of Ghatak, a veteran party leader in Burdwan district who was apparently forced to quit as agriculture minister after TMC`s Asansol Lok Sabha candidate Dola Sen lost to BJP nominee Babul Supriyo.
Ghatak replaced Basu as the new labour minister.
West Bengal Minister for Agriculture Marketing Arup Roy was holding the additional charge of agriculture department after Ghatak`s exit.
The two new faces inducted to the ministry are Jyotirmoy Kar, TMC MLA from Patashpur in East Midnapore and Ashis Banerjee, the party legislator from Rampurhat in Birbhum district.
While Kar will be the minister-in-charge co-operation department, Banerjee will be minister of state (independent charge) of Ayush of health and family welfare department and MOS, department of school education and department of higher education.
Rachpal Singh, the minister of co-operation and planning was divested of the co-operation portfolio which was given to Kar.
Singh, a former IPS officer, will now hold the planning portfolio.
The last reshuffle which took place in June saw Amit Mitra take up additional responsibility of information and technology, in addition to his existing charges of finance, commerce and industry.
Partha Chatterjee took over as education minister, replacing Bratya Basu, who was shifted to tourism ministry.
The new ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by the governor M K Naryayanan at Raj Bhavan.
Banerjee, her cabinet colleagues and Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra were present among others at the occasion.