New Delhi: The Congress will be part of the new government led by Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal. Mamata, who is expected to handle the weighty and politically crucial departments of home, industry, education and health, is likely to give four berths – two Cabinet and two ministers of state – to the Congress.
Banerjee had on Friday invited her party’s allies, the Congress and the SUCI, to join her government.
The Congress is expected to decide on its ministerial nominees on Monday. Mamata is learnt to be keen to have Debaprasad Roy and Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee in her ministry.
The Centre, which is in the process of helping Mamata make a big political statement on the day she takes over the reins of West Bengal, is giving final touches to an economic package for the state. The Trinamool Congress chief has also sought the Centre’s help to resolve the crisis in Darjeeling. The Congress, which wants to strengthen the alliance with the Trinamool, may not insist on the Trinamool vacating the railway ministry. Sources said Mukul Roy, minister of state for shipping, could emerge as Banerjee’s nominee to handle railways. In Kollkata, the Trinamool Congress legislature party met on Sunday and elected Mamata as its leader.
Other elected members of Trinamool legislature party are Partha Chatterjee and Sobhandev Chattopadhyay. While Chatterjee has been made the deputy leader, Chattopadhyay will function as party’s chief whip.
Mamata, who is a Lok Sabha member, will have to get herself elected to the state assembly within six months. She may contest from a South Kolkata constituency. Mamata Banerjee, who is arriving in Delhi on Sunday night, is expected to hold talks with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Trinamool leaders said Mamata will invite Sonia Gandhi to attend the swearing-in function. Economic Times