Mamata, 37 Ministers sworn in

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as the first woman Chief Minister of West Bengal here on Friday.

Governor M.K. Narayanan administered the oath of office and secrecy to Ms. Banerjee and 37 Ministers of the Trinamool Congress-Congress alliance government, which assumed power after more than 34 years of Left Front rule. The Cabinet includes four Ministers of State.

Attired in a white cotton saree with blue border, Ms. Banerjee took the oath in Bengali.

The swearing-in was held under a sprawling green-and-white shamiana in the Raj Bhavan compounds at 1.01 p.m. Hundreds waited outside, hoping to catch a glimpse of the new Chief Minister.

Among the more than 3,000 invitees present were the outgoing Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Left Front Committee chairman Biman Bose and the former Finance Minister, Asim Dasgupta.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister A.K. Antony also attended the function.

Personalities from different walks of life were also present. They belonged to the worlds of industry, culture and sports — to name a few.

Long walk

Later, in an unprecedented move, Ms. Banerjee walked the distance of about half-a-km to the Writers' Buildings, the State Secretariat, even as her security staff had a trying time controlling the thousands of admirers surging towards her.

By the time she reached the Secretariat, the road in front of it had turned into a sea of humanity, with people breaking through the police cordons in a massive display of outpouring of emotions.

Even the corridor on the first floor of the Writers' Buildings — where entry otherwise is restricted — was overrun by enthusiastic State employees and others, leaving Ms. Banerjee no option but to enter the Chief Minister's chamber through the adjoining conference hall. Police reinforcements were brought in to restore order.

Later, she stepped onto one of the balconies and waved at the milling crowds outside.

Cabinet meeting

In the afternoon, before leaving the Raj Bhavan, Ms. Banerjee held a meeting with the Governor.

Her new Cabinet met for the first time in the evening.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 10:25:31 PM |

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