(From left) James Kujur, Churamoni Mahato, and Abani Mohan Joardar in file photographs.
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Kolkata: In a shake-up to Bengal politics, three ministers in the Trinamool government today stepped down from the state Cabinet.

They are tribal development minister James Kujur of Alipurduar, backward classes welfare minister Churamani Mahato of Jhargram, and minister without portfolio Abani Mohan Joardar of Nadia.

Sources both in Trinamool and the state government informed that while Joardar has been relieved of his Cabinet portfolio due to prolonged illness, Kujur and Mahato were asked to resign by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

This is because in the recently concluded Panchayat polls in the state, Trinamool comparatively fared badly in Alipurduar district and in the Junglemahal areas to which Jhargram is a constituent.

The Chief Minister, while leaving state secretariat Nabanna this evening, said that the trio sent their resignation letters to her out of their own volition and she has accepted their wish.

Banerjee said that some of them will now be utilised to strengthen the party in their respective districts. Asked which new faces will be inducted in the state cabinet as a replacement, she denied an answer. “Why should I tell this to the media?”

Sources in Trinamool suggested that over the next few days, the Chief Minister is likely to induct new ministers and clip the wings of a few who are not giving their best to the government and the party.

The changes likely to come into effect before a meeting of the Trinamool core committee scheduled to be held at Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on 21 June. Trinamool MLAs, MPs, ministers, District presidents, civic body chiefs, and newly elected heads of Zila Parishads and Panchayat Samitis have been asked to attend the meeting.

Many believe that the meeting is part of Trinamool’s preparation for the Lok Sabha elections due next year.

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