Politics live: Mamata reshuffles Cabinet after poll drubbing

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.   | Photo Credit: Reuters


Mamata reshuffles Cabinet after poll drubbing

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made major changes in her cabinet on May 28 following the drubbing her party, Trinamool Congress (TMC), received in the Lok Sabha elections.

Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikary was entrusted with two more departments of Irrigation and the Water Resources Investigation and Development (WRI&D), she told reporters at the State secretariat.

Bratya Basu has been given additional charge of the Forest Department along with his portfolio of the Science and Technology and Biotechnology Department, Ms. Banerjee said.

Minister for Fire Department Sujit Bose was made the Minister of State of the Forest Department.

Somen Mahapatra, who was the Minister for Water Resources Investigation & Development, was given the charges of Environment and Pollution and the Public Health Engineering Department (PHE), she said.

Malay Ghatak will now look after the Labour and Law department, the Chief Minister said.

Rajib Banerjee, who was in-charge of the Backward Class Welfare Department, will also look after the SC, ST and the Tribal Affairs Department, Ms. Banerjee said.

Senior TMC leader Subrata Mukherjee, who lost to BJP’s Subhas Sarkar in the Bankura Lok Sabha seat, was retained as Panchayat Minister.

Chandrima Bhattacharyya, who was the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing, was also given the additional responsibility as Minister of State for Panchayat Department.

Former Forest Department Minister Binay Krishna Barman and Western Region Development Minister Shantiram Mahato were kept as Ministers without any portfolio, she said.

The reshuffle comes amid a stupendous performance of the BJP in West Bengal, where it won 18 Lok Sabha seats, only four less than Ms. Banerjee’s TMC out of the total 42 parliamentary constituencies in the State.


Mamata Banerjee to attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on May 28 said she will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister on May 30.

Ms. Banerjee told reporters at the State secretariat that the invitation for the ceremony arrived on May 28 and she will be attending it as “constitutional courtesy”.

“I have spoken to a couple of other Chief Ministers and decided to attend it,” she said.

“There are certain ceremonial programmes under the Constitution. We try to attend such programmes when get invitation for swearing-in programmes of the president and the prime minister,” Ms. Banerjee added.


Rats abandoning a ship sensing danger, says TMC

The TMC Tuesday likened its MLAs who have joined the BJP on Tuesday to “rats abandoning a ship sensing danger” and said people will give them a befitting reply.

Three West Bengal MLAs, including BJP leader Mukul Roy’s son Subhrangshu Roy, and over 50 municipal councillors, most of them from the Trinamool Congress, joined the BJP on Tuesday.

TMC’s Tusharkanti Bhattacharya and CPI(M)’s Debendra Nath Roy were other MLAs from the state who joined the saffron party, BJP leader Anil Baluni said.

Subhrangshu Roy was suspended by the TMC for his “anti-party” activities after the Lok Sabha election results were announced.

A senior TMC leader said, “We will expel them from the party. Subhrangshu is already under suspension. We are not bothered about such opportunists. People will give them a befitting reply.”

“If some of the leaders join the BJP just because it has won a few seats, they are nothing, but rats who abandon a ship sensing danger. It is good that they have left our party,” senior TMC leader and minister Firhad Hakim said.

West Bengal

Three West Bengal MLAs join BJP

Three Trinamool Congress MLAs and a number of party corporators joined the BJP at party headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Three Trinamool Congress MLAs and a number of party corporators joined the BJP at party headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena


Three West Bengal MLAs along with a number of corporators mostly from North 24 Parganas, joined the BJP on Tuesday.

Trinamool Congress MLA from Bijapur Subhrasnshu Roy, Bishnupur Congress MLA Tushar Kanti Bhattacharya, and CPI(M) MLA from Hemtabad Debendranath Roy are among those who joined the BJP today in the presence of party's in charge in West Bengal Kailash Vijaywargiya, and Mukul Roy.

New Delhi

Rahul Gandhi separately meets Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot

Amidst attempts to convince him to change his mind about stepping down as party president, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday held a meeting with his sister and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, and Congress communication head Randeep Surjewala.

Mr. Gandhi also separately met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot at his 12, Tughlaq Lane residence. There may be more meetings in the evening even though there was no official word on it.

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BJP trying to woo Congress, NCP legislators in Maharashtra: Chavan

Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan on May 28 said the BJP was trying to woo Congress and NCP legislators to join the ruling party, but it won’t succeed in its efforts.

Mr. Chavan made the comments when asked about reports related to senior party leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s impending entry into the BJP along with some Congress MLAs.

Mr. Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s son, Sujay, joined the BJP in March and since then speculation is rife that the former Minister, too, will enter the saffron fold.

“Technically, he [Vikhe Patil] is still the member of the Congress. It is likely he may join the ruling party. I don’t think our MLAs will join the BJP,” Mr. Chavan said in Mumbai.

“The BJP is trying to poach Congress or NCP MLAs. But I don’t think it will happen, we are being alert,” he added.

The Congress leader made the remarks after a meeting of Maharashtra’s grand alliance constituents in Mumbai.


Anti-Modi wave in Tamil Nadu: Rajinikanth

Actor Rajnikanth on Tuesday acknowledged that there was an anti-Modi wave in Tamil Nadu that led to the rout of the BJP and its alliance partners in the State in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. However, except in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, there was a pro-Modi wave. The actor, who would be attending Mr Modi’s swearing in ceremony as Prime Minister for a second term, hailed the latter as a charismatic leader.

“In Tamil Nadu, there was an anti-Modi wave. Once there was a wave in electoral politics, those who went with the wave have won,” the actor said.

He opined that issues such as hydrocarbon extraction, NEET, the Opposition's whirlwind campaign, could have gone against the BJP in Tamil Nadu.

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New Delhi

Modi meets Pranab Mukherjee, seeks his blessings

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets the former President Pranab Mukherjee at his residence in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets the former President Pranab Mukherjee at his residence in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: PTI


Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on former President and veteran Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee to seek his blessings. Mr. Modi, who will take oath as the Prime Minister for the second time on May 30, described the former President as a “statesman”.

“Meeting Pranab Da is always an enriching experience. His knowledge and insights are unparalleled. He is a statesman who has made an indelible contribution to our nation,” Mr. Modi tweeted, posting pictures with Mr. Mukherjee.

“Sought his blessings during our meeting today,” he added.

Mr. Mukherjee was conferred with the Bharat Ratna on the recommendation of the Modi-led government in January.

Tamil Nadu

Stalin non-committal on pursuing motion for TN Assembly Speaker’s removal

DMK president M K Stalin Tuesday declined to categorically comment if his party would take forward its motion seeking removal of Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal.

“Wait and see,” he said without elaborating.

Asked if his party would consider moving a motion of no confidence against the government, Stalin said his party will decide on that after the dates for the assembly session are announced.

“After it (dates) is made known, we will take a decision about it,” he told reporters.


Rahul Gandhi should continue to lead Congress: Lalu

Hours ahead of a review meeting to discuss the RJD—led Grand Alliance’s routed in the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar, jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Tuesday advised Congress President Rahul Gandhi to not resign from the post calling his offer “suicidal”.

“Rahul’s offer to resign is suicidal. Opposition parties had the common goal to dislodge BJP but failed to build a national narrative. The result in a particular election can never alter the reality in as diverse and plural a country as India,” said Lalu Prasad in a tweet.


Shiv Sena MPs to take oath in Marathi

Newly-elected MPs of the Shiv Sena will take oath of the 17th Lok Sabha in Marathi, a party leader has said.

In the just-concluded elections, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party won 18 out of the total 48 seats in Maharashtra. The Sena ally, the BJP, bagged 23 seats.

“MPs have the choice of language in which they can take oath. We are proud of Marathi language and our land. Moreover, the Shiv Sena was born to protect and promote Marathi. Hence all our MPs will be taking oath in Marathi,” Sena MP from Kalyan, Shrikant Shinde, said Monday night. - PTI

Tamil Nadu

13 DMK members sworn in as MLAs

A total of 13 Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) members, who were recently elected to the Assembly in the bypolls, were administered the oath of office by Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal here on Tuesday.

DMK president and Leader of the Opposition M.K. Stalin, DMK principal secretary T.R. Baalu and senior DMK leaders were present during the event in the Speaker’s chamber in the Assembly building in Fort St. George campus.

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Gehlot faces heat for loss in Rajasthan

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has come under intense pressure after Lok Sabha election results, with one of his Cabinet colleagues, Lalchand Kataria, reportedly resigning from his post and two others demanding a detailed review of the factors responsible for the ruling Congress’s humiliating defeat in the State.

The Congress, which came to power in December 2018, lost all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the State. Mr. Gehlot is also feeling the heat over his son Vaibhav Gehlot having unsuccessfully contested the election from Jodhpur, as allegations have been made that he had put his son above the party’s interest and spent more time campaigning for him.

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Congress in disarray as Rahul insists on stepping down

Forty eight hours after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) met and analysed the party’s débâcle in the Lok Sabha election, there was no clarity on whether Rahul Gandhi would continue as party president.

Sources told The Hindu that there could be another CWC meeting later this week if Mr. Gandhi insisted on stepping down.

Mr. Gandhi is learnt to have asked treasurer Ahmed Patel and general secretary K.C. Venugopal to look for his replacement when they met him on Monday.

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(With inputs from Agencies)

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 8:22:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/politics-live-update-may-28-2019/article27271164.ece

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