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Featured Image: Mamata Banerjee and Purnendu Basu in file photographs.  

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 06 September: MAMATA Banerjee today downsized an “independent minded” minister of her Cabinet by shunting him to a low-profile department, whose office is located faraway from state secretariat Nabanna.

Purnendu Basu, the Cabinet minister for agriculture, has been shifted out to the technical education, training and skill development department. In his place, Asish Banerjee, who was the Cabinet minister for planning, statistics and programme implementation department, has been made the new agriculture minister of the state.

Sources at Nabanna said that the Chief Minister was unhappy with the “independent” style of functioning of Basu and had sent him several signals in the past to med his ways. She had even appointed an agriculture advisor to herself to keep a tab on Basu.

But the former Naxal leader turned Trinamool minister, Basu did not show any sign of “improvement,” this finally made the CM shunt to the low-profile department, whose office is located at New Town, about 25 km from Nabanna. Agriculture department has its office in the state secretariat.

The sources added that immediate trigger for the move was a report of crop damaged by floods that Basu had prepared and the CM did not like it.

During the first Trinamool government that was sworn in 2011, Bose was a Cabinet minister for labour, but was later shifted to agriculture for strict dealing with private companies on labour issues.

A notification issued by the state government reads that while Asish Banerjee becomes the new agricultural minister, his planning, statistics and programme implementation department has been assigned to Ashima Patra of Nadia district. She will handle the charge along with playing the role of minister of state for land and land reforms department.

The technical education, training and skill development department that has now been assigned to Purndenu Basu was earlier with Patra.

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