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India Inc tops Mamata's guest list

Last updated on: May 20, 2011 10:59 IST

India Inc tops Mamata's guest list

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BS Reporter in Kolkata

When Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee takes oath as the first woman chief minister of West Bengal on Friday, she will be in the presence of several industrialists.

In opposition, the Trinamool Congress had steered several agitations against land acquisition by industry, including the one against the Tatas' Nano project in Singur.

However, things are different now.

Trinamool sources indicated that invitations had been extended to Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata and several senior executives of the Tata group.

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Image: Mamata Banerjee.
Photographs: Reuters
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They include Tata Motors vice-chairman Ravi Kant, a key player in the Nano project, B Muthuraman, vice-chairman, Tata Steel, and R Gopalakrishnan, director, Tata Sons.

This is being seen as Banerjee's attempt to cultivate a pro-industry image.

"Many industrialists, both from Bengal and across the country, have been invited and many will attend.
"This is a clear attempt on Banerjee's part to woo industry," said a local Congress leader.

The poster boys of the Indian information technology industry, Infosys Chairman Narayana Murthy and Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, have also been invited.

Both Wipro and Infosys have stakes in the city's IT industry and recently got 100 acres in Rajarhat, where Wipro will set up its second campus and Infosys its first.

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Image: Ratan Tata.
Photographs: Reuters
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Banerjee, it may be noted, has extended invitations to United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well.

The Congress will be represented by Home Minister P Chidambaram at the swearing-in ceremony.

Banerjee will include 36 ministers from her party in the Cabinet.
The Congress, which is slated to get seven berths, is opting for veterans such as DP Roy, Asit Mal, Ajay De, Abu Hena, Abu Naser Khan and Rabi Chatterjee.

Tussle is on over Congress state unit chief Manas Bhuiyan's inclusion.

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Banerjee may retain home affairs while her trusted aide and former Andrew Yule executive Partha Chatterjee may become the industry minister.

Former Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry secretary-general Amit Mitra is almost certain to get finance.

Other front-runners are Madan Mitra (transport), Karim Chowdhury (panchayet), ex-Naxal leader Purnendu Bose (labour) and Bratya Basu (information and culture).

Former Kolkata Mayor Subrata Mukherjee may get urban development while health may go to Sudarshan Ghosh Dastidar, a doctor-turned-MLA.

Rabiranjan Chattopadhyay, who defeated Industry Minister Nirupam Sen, may be rewarded with the education portfolio.


Image: Mamata Banerjee.
Photographs: Reuters
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