KOLKATA: Hours before Narendra Modi was sworn in as PM on Sunday, the third Modi-led NDA govt allocated two ministers of state berths to Bengal. While Bongaon MP Shantanu Thakur was already an MoS, Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar has been given a spot. The earlier NDA govt had three MoS from the state.
Majumdar’s appointment, however, will vacate the post of BJP’s Bengal president, according to the party’s constitution.“We have provisions in the party constitution and the party will abide by that. The position of state president will follow the same principle,” Majumdar said. It may take nearly two months to nominate a state president, BJP sources said. Majumdar had taken over as state president in 2021, replacing Dilip Ghosh.
The two MPs had been invited to Modi’s residence on Sunday morning for tea. They were informed about the allocation of berths then, said sources.
“I don’t have any preference for any ministry and will work with whichever portfolio is allocated to me,” Majumdar said, adding: “This is the first time Balurghat will have a minister at Centre. No other govt had thought of nominating a minister from the area before.” The Balurghat MP said that he and Thakur had an informal talk with Modi over issues in Bengal.
“For me the nature of my job will change, but the hard work will continue. The PM has a dream and we will work towards realising it,” Majumdar added.
Thakur, who has been serving as a minister of state for ports, shipping and waterways since 2021, said that he had never worked with ministerial berths in mind. “I don’t work with an expectation to become a minister. There has been an unprecedented amount of work in the shipping ministry in the past five years. I am open to any responsibility the party gives me,” Thakur added.

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