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Mamata all set to be West Bengal's first woman chief minister

Sunday May 15, 2011 09:32:36 PM, IANS

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Kolkata: Moving a step closer to becoming West Bengal's first woman chief minister, Mamata Banerjee was Sunday unanimously elected leader of the Trinamool Congress legislature party in the state assembly.

The first meeting of the Trinamool legislature party at south Kolkata's Maharashtra Nivas was attended by all the 184 party lawmakers.

The newly-elected party lawmakers also chose Partha Chatterjee, leader of the opposition in the outgoing assembly, as the deputy leader of the legislature party and Sovandeb Chattopadhyay the chief whip.

Banerjee dedicated the historic victory over the 34-year-old Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led rule to the "Maa Mati Manush" (mother, land and people) of Bengal.

The Trinamool-Congress alliance bagged 227 of the 294 seats in the state assembly, with the Trinamool alone bagging 184 seats.

Banerjee, who had earlier declared that her ministers would be sworn-in at the sprawling Brigade Parade Ground if the Trinamool won the election, Sunday said it was not possible "due to political and technical reasons".

She announced that the Trinamool will hold a victory rally July 21 at the Brigade Parade Ground.

"As the elections are only just over, if you leave your area now to attend the oath-taking ceremony at the Brigade Parade Ground, the CPI-M might try dirty tricks," said Banerjee.

"So we have decided that we will hold the victory rally July 21 at the Brigade Parade Ground. But I appeal to all my party supporters to organise the oath-taking day ceremonies in their areas on the same day and time when our government is sworn in," she added.

Banerjee declared that the state cabinet will be a small one, but added that she might expand her ministry after going through the administrative and government rules.

"I have earlier said that I prefer a small ministry. But there can be a ministerial expansion once I go through the administrative rules and government files and regulations. I will try to include people from all sections of the society in my cabinet," she said.

Banerjee also expressed her gratitude to the people of Junglemahal area (the Maoist hit forested stretches of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts) and saluted them for voting for Trinamool candidates.




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(Photo: Hansraj)



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