Challenges ahead for Mamata
With West Bengal facing huge debt burden, Mamata Banerjee faces an uphill to steer the state's economy on the growth path and create an atmosphere to attract investments and spur industrial growth.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee will take oath on Friday as the next Chief Minister of West Bengal along with 41 party MLAs as ministers in the new cabinet in the state Assembly
Only 40 women MLAs in the state Assembly
The new 294-member state assembly, unfortunately, will have only 40 women MLAs, of which 29 are from TMC, four from Congress, six from CPM and one from Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM). Besides Banerjee, there is only one more woman minister, Shashi Panja, who has been re-elected this time.
Cabinet to have 17 new faces
According to TMC sources, young faces in the state cabinet, numbered at 17, include Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who might be considered as a Minister of State, Kolkata Mayor Shovan Chatterjee, Abani Mohan Joarder, Abdur Rezzak Mollah, Suvendu Adhikari, Rabindranath Ghosh, Chudamani Mahalo, James Kujur, Siddikullah Choudhury, Asima Patra, Ghulam Rabbani, Zakir Hossain, Sandhya Rani Tudu, Indranil Sen, Tapan Dasgupta and B Hansda.
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok G Raju, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay at Mamata Banerjee's oath ceremony
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok G Raju,FM Arun Jaitley & Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay at Mamata Banerjee's oath ceremony pic.twitter.com/b7bNDut8Kv— ANI (@ANI_news) May 27, 2016
Challenges for Mamata and her government
Mamata Banerjee made a significant improvement in her tally from the previous assembly election, when she had made electoral history. But for the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo, the battle has only just begun.
Mamata Banerjee had focused on a slew of welfare measures in her campaign for re-election in the state. Her poll promises, which were reminiscent of the southern state of Tamil Nadu, were those of rice for Rs 2 a kilo, free bicycles for girls and healthcare. However, much like Tamil Nadu, her welfare measures will have to weighed in the context of a dire fiscal position.
As an article by Gouri Chatterjee on Firstpost points out, West Bengal politics has been marked by political violence for a long time now. This characteristic had acquired even more prominence during the 34 years of communist rule in the state. However, in its five years in power, the TMC has also faced serious charges of political violence during elections as well as at other times. After a CPM polling agent was killed and four party workers were injured in April, the CPM alleged that the TMC was unleashing a "reign of terror" in the state.
'TMC acting as invaders'
Major Opposition parties in the state have boycotted the oath-taking ceremony of Mamata owing to the violence perpetrated by the Trinamool party members. Speaking to NDTV, one Opposition member said that TMC members were behaving as "invaders" after winning the assembly election.
BJP's Chandra Kumar Bose told NDTV that Mamata was behaving as TMC's CM and not West Bengal's CM. "This is not a swearing-in ceremony, it is like coronation of the queen."
Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee will take oath on Friday as the next Chief Minister of West Bengal along with 41 party MLAs as ministers in the new cabinet in the state Assembly. The swearing-in ceremony will start at around 11 am.
Banerjee on Thursday met state Governor KN Tripathi and submitted the list of MLAs who will take oath on Friday at the gala swearing-in ceremony to be held on prestigious Red Road. Among the 41 MLAs there will be 17 new faces.
Mamata Banerjee has created a stage (40ftx36ft) of the size of a tennis court along with artificial garden, flower beds, grassy lawns and fountains bang on the middle of a road where Republic Day parades are held.
The Red Road, which is only a stone's throw away from Raj Bhavan and connects important city addresses like Fort William where the Army is headquartered, the state assembly and the high court, is now covered with around 19,000 chairs stretching up to Mayo Road. The first 1,000 is reserved for special guests. The rest will go to whoever is fittest. Kolkata's famous Maidan, the grassy fields adjoining the Red Road, will be carpeted to accommodate even more people.
The main stage where the CM and her ministers will take their oath will be flanked by two more stages. The one on its right will have ivory sofas for VVIP dignitaries and on the left, the stage with green chairs will be for 42 ministers.
The backstage, not open for public, is a huge hangar flown in from Germany which will serve as the air-conditioned VVIP lounge with an area for schmoozing and high tea. It is tastefully adorned with subdued, modern lighting. Two offices — one for the CM and one for her chief secretary — have been erected on the backstage which will also be linked to mobile toilets.
The main stage will have a montage of images and models with ma, maati, manush as the motif.
The road leading from Mamata Banerjee's residence in Kalighat to the Red Road has been decorated with huge cutouts of the CM, party flags and flowers. Three-tier security is in place with over 5,000 cops, 100 CCTV units, nine redio flying squads, watch towers and drones.
There will be giant screens at different locations so that people at the remotest area may witness the proceedings.
Kolkata: Preparations for Mamata Banerjee's oath taking ceremony.To be held tomorrow pic.twitter.com/cY4n0FaESr
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 26, 2016
With inputs from agencies
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