Two Congress MLAs switch to Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool

In a boost to Trinamool Congress, two rebel Congress MLAs today joined the party and submitted their resignations to the Speaker of the West Bengal Assembly as legislators.

Humayun Kabir and Krishnendu Chowdhury, hailing from Rejinagar in Murshidabad district and Englishbazar in Malda district respectively, are likely to be inducted in the Mamata Banerjee ministry which is going to be expanded tomorrow.

Official sources said the new ministers would be sworn in by Governor M K Narayanan at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan tomorrow.

On September 22, six Congress ministers, including two of Cabinet rank, had resigned from the Trinamool Congress-led government following the resignation of six Trinamool Union ministers from the UPA government.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is learnt to have shortlisted the names of her party MLAs who would be accommodated in her cabinet besides Kabir and Chowdhury.

Even though Trinamool Congress maintained silence on the ministerial hopefuls, several names are doing the rounds. They included Swapan Debnath, Rajib Banerjee, Pundarikaksha Saha and Becharam Manna.

It is believed that the names have already been finalised for the six vacant slots - including two Cabinet portfolios.

The two rebel Congress MLAs who tendered their resignations to the Congress and state legislature would now seek to get themselves re-elected from their respective constituencies in the mandated six-month time frame.

Kabir was a loyalist of Minister of State for Railways Adhir Chowdhury and Krishnendu Chowdhury is the chairman of the Englishbazar Municipality in Malda district.

State Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee, who was present, told reporters, "It is good that they have joined our party, at a time when there is increasing mass support for our leader Mamata Banerjee across the country. Their joining the party would strengthen TMC."

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