Kolkata: West Bengal will have a woman chief minister for the second consecutive term but the new 294-member state assembly will have only 40 women MLAs.
Of them 29 are from Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress. Four from Congress, six from its ally CPI-M and one from Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
Besides Banerjee, who was the chief minister also held a number of other portfolios like home and health in the last government, there is only one more woman minister who has been re-elected this time.
Shashi Panja, who was the Minister of State for Women and Child Welfare and Social Welfare, has managed to retain her Shyampukur seat in north Kolkata by a margin of over 13,000 votes.
Two women ministers who were in the fray this time – Chandrima Bhattacharya and Sabitri Mitra lost out. Baishali Dalmiya and Mahua Moitra are two new entrants in the corridors of power. Baishali, daughter of former BCCI president late Jagmohan Dalmiya, debuted in the world of politics with a victory from Bally constituency in Howrah district on a TMC ticket. Moitra, on the other hand, is a former investment banker who quit her lucrative job as vice-president of J P Morgan in London to join politics in 2008. She contested on a TMC ticket this time and won the Karimpur seat in Nadia district by 15,989 votes.
Bengali film actress and TMC leader Debasree Roy, who is also known as an animal rights activist retained her Raidighi seat. Other prominent women TMC leaders who made it to the house this time also are Nayna Bandopadhyay (Chowringhee), Smita Bakshi (Jorasanko) and Sonali Guha (Satgachia).