West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday appointed 13 parliamentary secretaries, all ruling party MLAs, to assist ministers in speedy implementation of work.
In a brief function at the conference room of the Assembly, Ms. Banerjee administered the oath of offices to the parliamentary secretaries after state Chief Secretary Sanjoy Mitra read out the letters of appointment.
Tapan Dasgupta (Labour), Nirmal Majhi (Power), Pulak Roy (Primary Education and Mid-day Meal), Shilbhadra Dutta (Horticulture), Firdausi Begum (Panchayat), Firoja Bibi (Panchayat and Rural Development), Chand Mohammed (Animal Husbandry), Nilima Nag (Social Welfare), Ujjwal Pramanik (Backward Classes Welfare), Subhasish Batabyal (Irrigation), Shankar Dolui (Irrigation and Waterways), Wilson Chapramari (Tribal Welfare) and Manirul Islam (Municipal Affairs) were administered the oath.
The respective departments in which they would work were also announced by Ms. Banerjee.
Briefing the media later, state Parliamentary Affairs and IT Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “In order to speed up development work undertaken by the government, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has brought in young faces.”
After Trinamool Congress came to power in 2011, the state Assembly passed a Bill amidst Opposition protests to create posts of parliamentary secretaries to “aid and advise” state ministers, borrowing the idea from states such as Punjab, Haryana and Assam.
Caught between the need to beef up the delivery system and the obligation to keep the number of ministers within 43, (15% of the total 294 MLAs), the Chief Minister had inducted 13 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries in January last year.
With Friday’s appointment of 13 more MLAs, the total number of parliamentary secretaries now stands at 26.