Even as she inaugurated a flurry of railway projects as Railway Minister, a ministry she will quit before being sworn in on 20 May.
"The Governor, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Article 164 (1) of the Constitution of India has been pleased to issue the order appointing Mamata Banerjee the chief minister of the state of West Bengal," a Raj Bhavan release said.
Narayanan had yesterday sent a letter to Banerjee inviting her to form the government following her party's landslide victory in the Assembly elections.
Hinting that the Trinamool Congress will retain the Railway portfolio, Mamata Banerjee said her departure from the ministry would not restrict its development. န File Photo : Avijit Mondal
UNB, Geneva, 17 May : Bangladesh Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has called for strengthening the World Health Organisation (WHO) to improve global healthcare system.
She made the call at the inauguration of the 64th Session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Tuesday.
"Globally, when we debate on reforms of health systems and institutions as the WHO, we must seek reforms that strengthen the capacity of this important body, and allocate increased financial support to enable it to provide authoritative health service and technical support to countries," Hasina said.
She feared that if reforms do not deepen engagement of WHO in countries like Bangladesh, the endeavours of the countries to attain health-related MDGs may run the risk of being compromised.
WHO director general Margaret Chan received Hasina as she arrived at the venue, Palace The Nation. The prime minister said the country has achieved the MDG-6 target on tuberculosis, while malaria is under control.
"To deal with waterborne diseases like cholera, hepatitis A&E, typhoid, paratyphoid, we're working for greater regional collaboration. We have eliminated polio from our country," she told the assembly.
She urged the development partners to help design sub-regional and regional programmes to control and fight communicable diseases such as Avian and Swine flu. Hasina appreciated the assistance from the Global Fund and WHO in controlling diseases like Kala-azar and filariasis.
She conveyed her especial thanks to philanthropist Bill Gates for supporting a number of programmes in Bangladesh and requested him for expanding his presence in the country. န Photo : PID
"After my resignation, the Ministry of Railways will stay with the Trinamool Congress hopefully and I will help my colleague in its development," Mamata Banerjee, who will be resigning shortly to take over as West Bengal Chief Minister, told a railway programme.
"There is no reason to think that the Railways will suffer. West Bengal and the Railways will develop together. From today West Bengal and Railways have merged together," Mamata said at the programme to inagurate a number of projects in Howrah.
"I have made a 'Vision 20-20' and there will be no problem for my colleague who takes over as the Minister of Railways. He will only have to supervise the projects," she said. န Photo : PIB
Anbarasan Ethirajan, BBC News, Dhaka, 17 May : Bangladeshi companies say they have leased thousands of hectares of farmland in Africa as part of their efforts to avoid future food shortages.
Two Bangladeshi companies have already signed deals to lease unused cultivable land in Uganda, Tanzania and Gambia. Another agreement to lease around 30,000 hectares for 99 years will be signed with the Tanzanian government later this week.... READ FULL STORY
"There were three incidents after the election was over.
I have also spoken to Mamata Banerjee and Mukul Roy about the violence and appealed to all political parties to stop violence. I think they would respond to my appeal," he added.
The Union home minister also appealed to Maoists to abjure violence and start peace talks. န Photo : Parthajit Dutta, PTI
Agartala, 17 May : Indian home minister P Chidambaram today said ULFA leaders had expressed willingness to resume peace talks and they have been advised to prepare a document based on which dialogue with the government would take place soon.
"ULFA leaders met Assam chief minister, Tarun Gogoi and prime minister and expressed willingness to resume peacetalks. We advised them to prepare a document on the basis of which talks would start soon to reach an honourable solution to the problem," Chidamabaram told reporters here.
Agartala, 17 May : Nine guerrillas of a separatist outfit have fled their camps in Bangladesh and surrendered before Indian security forces in Tripura, police here said Tuesday.
"The NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) guerrillas, led by their self-styled captain Patanjoy Tripura alias Prabhash, 30, crossed over to India last week and surrendered to the Assam Rifles officers late Monday night at Chawmanu (in north Tripura)," a police spokesperson told reporters. "The Bangladesh-trained tribal guerrillas also deposited some arms, ammunition, explosives and 1,463 takas (Bangladeshi currency)," he added. Around 60 militants of the NLFT and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) have surrendered in India this year.
The books would be on topics like World War II, Buddhism and tourism, Ghising said in a press conference here hours after leaving the hills.
The former Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council chairman said he would soon visit Myanmar for doing research regarding his book on Buddhism.
When asked whether he would continue his political life, he avoided the question saying all was not well in the hill politics.
GNLF had fielded candidates in three constituencies in the hills - Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Kurseong - but failed to win any, losing to the Bimal Gurung led Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).
Ghising, who left the hills last night said he would now stay at Jalpaiguri, the neighbouring district of Darjeeling.
Guwahati, 17 May : Tarun Gogoi, who was unanimously elected Leader of Congress Legislature Party in Assam, was today invited by Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik to take oath as Chief Minister tomorrow.
Gogoi, who will be taking over as Chief Minister for the third consecutive term, will be sworn in at 3 pm at the Raj Bhavan tomorrow, Raj Bhavan sources said. The governor gave the invitation to Gogoi when he called on Patnaik to formally stake claim to form the government. He was accompanied by senior party leaders Bhubaneswar Kalita, Paban Singh Ghatowar and Bijoy Krishna Handique.
The Congress swept the poll winning 78 seats in the 126-member house.
Kolkata, 17 May : The CPI(M) Tuesday publicly censured its legislator and former West Bengal minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah for his open criticism of top party leaders including outgoing Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
'We don't approve of whatever he has said,' CPI(M) state secretary Biman Bose told media persons here. The decision to publicly censure Mollah was taken at a meeting of the party's state committee during the day. Hours after the declaration of the assembly poll results that saw the LF being routed, Mollah lashed out at Bhattacharjee and Industries Minister Nirupam Sen.
Rani was supposed to make an appearance on the French Riviera alongwith another Bengali designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee and filmmaker Karan Johar, but has bowed out as her father is unwell. Now Dhankar will be walking the red carpet for Chivas in Indian ethnic wear.
"I had designed the outfit for her, everything was ready. I feel sad that Rani will not be able to make it, but I am more concerned about her father," said the designer. Dhankar, who is the first Miss India going to Cannes, said she had no idea that she would be lucky enough to attend the prestigious film fest this year.
"I am very nervous but excited at the same time. I had many plans for this year but not even in my wildest dreams had I thought that I will be walking the Cannes red carpet. I feel lucky and blessed," she said.
The 22-year-old Mumbai girl, who is preparing for her Miss World pageant, said, "The global exposure I will get through this is definitely a plus point for my upcoming pageant. It will help me get the crown back."
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had worn a Sabyasachi creation at the premiere of ''Raavan'' at Cannes last year and the designer is surprised at the opportunity to physically present at the fest this time.
"I feel stupid, I don''t even know whether I deserve this or not. But it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am glad that I got it. It''s like my own personal fairytale," he said. န File Photos : AP