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Bengal votes for progress as Bhattacharjee keeps throne

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, May 13 (UNI) A quintessential Bangali-babu and the man behind the state's political renaissance, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has today established himself a pied-piper of dreams of a progressive Bengal.

Bhattacharjee is the political icon of the state whom people voted for as the Left Front swept the polls in its first ever five phased elections here.

Born on March 1, 1944, the 62-year old Chief Minister joined politics during his college days and rose in stature among the rank and file of the party.

One of the three proteges of iconic Marxist leader Promode Dasgupta, Bhattacharjee took over the reins of the government from Jyoti Basu, who retired from active politics, in 2000 on health grounds.

Known for his straight talk and progressive outlook, Bhattacharjee pushed forward his agenda of progress and transformation, often tight rope-walking between his party hardliners and liberalists.

A member of the CPI(M) Secretariat, West Bengal State Committee, and Member of Polit Bureau, CPI(M), he joined the West Bengal Cabinet in 1977 as Minister-in-Charge, Information&Public Relations Department, subsequently renamed as Information&Cultural Affairs Department. He held the post till 1982.

From 1987-91, he was the Minister-in-Charge, Department of Information&Cultural Affairs, Department of Local Government, Urban Development and Metropolitan Development Department. From 1991-93, he once again held the position of Minister-in-Charge, Department of Information&Cultural Affairs, Department of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs (excluding Fire Service Branch).

He kept gaining prominence in the West Bengal cabinet for his outspoken nature and in 1994 he was again made Minister-in-Charge, Department of Information&Cultural Affairs. In 1996 a politically mature Bhattacharjee was given the portfolio of Minister-in-Charge, Home (Police) Department, in addition to his Ministry of Information&Cultural Affairs Department and Department of Information Technology.


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