Former United Progressive Alliance ally Trinanmool Congress on Sunday said West Bengal was "thoroughly deprived" in the reshuffle of the Union council of ministers as none was made a Cabinet minister and the three Congress leaders made ministers of state were there only to "needle" TC.
The three Congress leaders from the state, all bitter critics of Mamata Banerjee, were picked up as ministers only to "needle" Trinamool, party leader Saugata Roy said and ruled out its impact on the party's political growth.
"West Bengal has been throughly deprived in the Cabinet reshuffle. West Bengal had two most important leaders (Pranab Mukherjee and Mamata Banerjee) in the Union Cabinet in 2009. Now it has none," Roy told PTI.
There was not even a minister of state with independent charge from West Bengal, he said while claiming, "Ministers of state won't be able to do much work."
There were six ministers of state and a Cabinet minister from the Trinamool Congress in the Union council of ministers before they resigned when the party decided to withdraw support from the government, he said.
"So the purpose behind the selection of three Congress leaders from West Bengal as ministers of state is to needle TC. But their purpose will not serve. They won't be able to disturb or weaken the TC or throw any challenge to the party," Roy, a former Union minister of state for urban development, said.
Moreover, he claimed those selected have no influence outside West Bengal.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Deepa Dasmunshi, who are known bete noires of Mamata Banerjee, were made ministers of state along with Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury in a ministerial reshuffle early on Sunday.
All three were elected from constituencies in north Bengal, a bastion of the Congress. The move is also considered significant as it comes ahead of the panchayat elections in the state.