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Introduction to Government

The Structure of a State Government is as follows

  • Legislative

Legislature consists of Governor, the Legislative Council and Legislative  Assembly. 

The Governor assents to the bills passed by both houses. In certain cases, he may return a bill to the Legislature, giving his reason; however, if the two houses pass the bill with or without accepting his recommendations, he has to assent to it. He may refer certain bills to the President for consideration and assent. The Governor also has powers to promulgate ordinances, when the houses of the Legislature are not in session. The ordinances are, however, required to be laid before the houses and cease to operate after six weeks from the reassembly unless, before the expiry of that period, a resolution disapproving the ordinance is passed by the Legislative Assembly and agreed to by the Council. 

The Governor summons and prorogues the two houses and dissolves the Vidhan Sabha. He addresses the two houses assembled together at the beginning of every year and at the first session after every general election. In his address, the Governor reviews the activities of his government during the past year, and apprises the two houses of the programs to be carried out in the ensuing year. He also refers to the bills proposed to be submitted for approval. The Governor's Address is prepared by the Council of Ministers and is in fact, a statement of the policies of the government. 

The Legislative Council or Upper House or Vidhan Parishad is a perpetual house and not subject to dissolution. The term of office of a member is six years; but one third of its members retire every two years. The Council is a mix of representatives among the cross section of the state and also people with expertise in various specific fields of knowledge, literature and arts.

The Legislative Assembly or Lower House consists of members that are directly elected on the basis of adult franchise. The normal life of the Legislative Assembly is five years. It can, however, be dissolved earlier, and in an emergency, its term can also be extended by a maximum period of one year. (Vide Article 172 of the Constitution). 

The two houses, though constituted on different principles, are nevertheless co-ordinate chambers. The Legislative Assembly as the directly elected house, enjoys exclusive powers in financial matters. Financial bills can originate only in the Legislative Assembly, which has a prevailing voice in the case of money bills. 

Under the Cabinet system of government adopted by this country, the Executive (the Government) is fully responsible and accountable to the Legislature and can hold office only so long as it can command the support of the Lower House. Apart from approving the bills and sanctioning the budget, the Legislature exercises supervision over the work of the Executive by keeping a close watch on its functioning in two ways. One is through legislative devices, such as questions, calling-attention notices, resolutions, short duration discussions, adjournment motions, no-confidence motions, cut-motions on the demands for grants, amendments to the Governor's address, etc. The other is through the committees of the Legislature entrusted with the task of scrutinizing specific fields of governmental activities. These committees have powers to send for any persons, papers or records and can also examine witnesses and make reports and recommendations.

  • Judicial

The Judiciary is one of the three arms of the state. Its independence and effectiveness define the true state of a democracy. However, the Judiciary is also the weakest of the three organs without any executive machinery of its own or with a formal popular base, as in the case of the Legislature. Every democratic constitution, therefore, tries to have in-built safeguards to maintain the independence of the Judiciary. 

The Judiciary cannot be said to be completely independent of the Executive and the Legislature, in view of the following provisions: 

(i) Leave and pension for Acts of Parliament regulates the judges of the High Court. 

(ii) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, laws of the respective legislatures determine the jurisdiction of the courts. 

(iii) The constitution, jurisdiction and powers of the sub-ordinate courts are regulated by laws of the State Legislature that can exclude specified matters from the jurisdiction of ordinary courts. 

(iv) All appointments of judicial officers are the responsibility of the executive, though provision has been made for consultation with the High Court, although the state government appoints the staff of the High Court. 

Law and Judiciary Department 

The Law and Judiciary department, as the name connotes, functions as legal advisory department to the government and as administrative department for the Judiciary. The functions of the Law and Judiciary department as advisory department are mainly technical. This department tenders legal advice mainly to government departments on the following subjects: -

(1) Legal points arising under the Constitution of India, several civil and criminal Acts, rules and regulations, etc.

(2) Legislation (both principal and sub-ordinate).

(3) Litigation (both civil and criminal),

(4) Conveyance
 

  • Executive

Since Independence, there has been a tremendous growth in the executive functions of the state, due to:

(i) Growth in the traditional functions of the state like law and order, education, public health, etc.

(ii) New functions, such as promoting economic development and social and economic justice undertaken by the state.

This has consequently led to a large expansion in the executive machinery of the state. In the state level, there are Cabinet Ministers and Ministers of State. At the national level, there Lok Sabha Members and Rajya Sabha Members.

The progress of the state depends on the executive branch. All credit and blame regarding the overall condition of the state depends on the executive branch. India is a country rich in natural resources and has excellent hard working people. There is a danger in many states that the executive branch is merely an extension of the British model of exploitation. Some of the current ills of India (for example Corruption) have their source in this branch. Fortunately, the overall condition of this branch has been changing for the better in the last few years all over India.

West Bengal Elected Political officials

Governor of West Bengal: Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi

Chief Minister of West Bengal: Mamata Banerjee

Office Address:
NABANNA (14th Floor)
325, Sarat Chatterjee Road,
Shibpur, Howrah-711102

Telephone: (033)2214-5555, 2214-3101 
Fax: (033)2214-3528 
E-mail: cm@wb.gov.in 

Cabinet Ministers

Minister in Charge

Department Name Phone Fax Email
Industrial Reconstruction  Dr. Amit Mitra  Office : 2282 0769/70 2214 1815/5525   Office : 2282 0771  fm_wb.nic.in 
Information Technology and Electronics  Dr. Amit Mitra  2214-5919, 2214-3475, 2282-0770, 2282-1945, 4791(Extn)  2282-1944, 2282-0769, 2214-4900   
Higher Education  Dr. Partha Chatterjee  2334-6181,2334-0363  2337-6783   
Parliamentary Affairs  Dr. Partha Chatterjee  2334-6181,2334-0363  2337-6783   
Environment  DR. SUDARSHAN GHOSH DASTIDAR  2337-0238/ 6224(Extn.)  2321-2329   
Paschimanchal Unnayan Affairs  Dr. Sukumar Hansda  033 2337-0225  033 2337-0250  ps2micpua @ gmail.com 
Mass Education Extension and Library Services  Janab Abdul Karim Chowdhury  2334-2938, 2334-4791, 2358-9354  2334-4791, 2334-3938   
Urban Development and Town and Country Planning  Janab Firhad Hakim  2214-5497, 2214-3197, 4457(Ext), 4078(Ext)  2214-3853   
Correctional Administration  Janab Haider Aziz Safwisri  2262-5695  2262-5695   
Disaster Management  Janab Javed Ahmed Khan  2214 - 4052  2214-4051  micfes.dm.cd@gmail.com 
Fire and Emergency Services  Janab Javed Ahmed Khan  2214-4052, 4026(Ext)  2214-4051   
Civil Defence  Janab Javed Ahmed Khan  2214-4052, 4026(Ext)  2214-4051   
Hill Affairs  Mamata Banerjee  2214-5555, 2214-3101  2214-3528   
Home  Mamata Banerjee  2214-5555, 2214-3101  2214-3528   
Information and Cultural Affairs  Mamata Banerjee  +91-33-2214 5555 +91-33-2214 3101  +91-33-2214 4046 +91-33-2214 3528  cm@wb.gov.in, cm@wb.nic.in 
Land and Land Reforms  Mamata Banerjee  2214-5555, 2214-5588, 4173(Ext), 4300(Ext)  2214-5480  cm@wb.gov.in, cm@wb.nic.in 
Minorities Affairs and Madrasah Education  Mamata Banerjee  2214-5555, 2214-5588, (033)2475-3000(Res), 4173(Ext), 4300(Ext)  2214-5480, (033)2454-0880(Res)  cm-wb@nic.in 
Health and Family Welfare  Mamata Banerjee  2214-5555, 2214-5588, 4173(Ext), 4300(Ext)  2214-5480  cm@wb.gov.in, cm@wb.nic.in 
Municipal Affairs  Shri Firhad Hakim  2214-5497, 2214-319,74050(ext)  2214-3853  micmaudwb@gmail.com 
Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources  Shri Manish Gupta  2248-0706, 2214-3664  2243-8114, 2214-1899  manishg882@gmail.com 
Child Development  Shri Shyamapada Mukherjee  2262-4091     
Women and Social Welfare  Smt Sabitri Mitra  2214-4858, 2214-3220, 4782(Ext), 4841(Ext)  2214-5452   
Excise  Sri Amit Mitra  (033)2282-0769/70,(033)2214 1815/5525(Nabanna)  (033)2282 0771(Camac Street),(033)2214 1815/5525(Nabanna)  fm_wb@nic.in 
Public Enterprise  Sri Amit Mitra  (033)2282-0769/70,(033)2214 1815/5525(Nabanna)  (033)2282 0771(Camac Street),(033)2214 1815/5525(Nabanna)  fm_wb@nic.in 
Finance  Sri Amit Mitra  2214-5525  2214-1338  fm-wb@nic.in 
Housing  Sri Arup Biswas  2358-3922, 2321-0243     
Agriculture Marketing  Sri Arup Roy  2214-5701, 4796(Ext)  2214-5433   
Forest  Sri Binoy Barman  2335-4040  2335-4028   
Tourism  Sri Bratya Basu  (033) 2214-5789,  (033)2214-3357   
School Education  Sri Bratya Basu  (033)2214-5789  (033)2214-3357  mictourism@wb.gov.in 
Fisheries  Sri Chandra Nath Sinha  2357-0099, 2357 0078  2357-0086   
North Bengal Development  Sri Goutam Deb  2214-5484,4582(Extn)  2214-0015  micnbdev@wb.gov.in 
Food and Supplies  Sri Jyoti Priya Mallick  2252-1388, 2252-2728  2252-2628   
Youth Services  Sri Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury  2321-0243  2321-0270  micfpihwb@gmail.com 
Food Processing Industries and Horticulture  Sri Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury  2321-0243  2321-0270  micfpihwb@gmail.com 
Sports  Sri Madan Mitra  2214-5501, 2214-5700, 4302(Ext), 4068(Ext)  2214-1780, 2214-4711   
Transport  Sri Madan Mitra  22625402-03     
Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation  Sri Manjul Krishna Thakur  2214-3819,4104(Ext)  2214-1586   
Commerce and Industries  Sri Partha Chatterjee  2214-5919, 2214-3475, 2282-0770, 2282-1945, 4791(Extn)  2282-1944, 2282-0769, 2214-4900   
Agriculture  Sri Purnendu Basu  2214-1778, 2253-5181(Ext)   2214-5757   mic-agri-wb@nic.in 
Labour  Sri Purnendu Basu  2214-5757  2214-1778   
Statistic and Programme Implemantation  Sri Rabindra Nath Bhattacharya  2359-4852/2359-4854  2359-4853  dospiwbmic@gmail.com 
Science and Technology  Sri Rabiranjan Chattopadhyay  2334-1443  2334-8074  micwbdst@gmail.com, chairman@wbscst.org.in 
Biotechnology  Sri Rabiranjan Chattopadhyay  2334-1443  2334-8074   
Department of Planning  Sri Rachhpal Singh  2214-5789, 4148(Extn)  2214-3357   
Irrigation and Waterways  Sri Rajib Banerjee  2214-5662, 2214-5663, 2321-5103, 2321-7441, 4319(Ext), 4497(Ext)  2214-1564, 2321-5104   
Consumer Affairs  Sri Sadhan Pande  2252-7483  2252-0153   
Co-operation  Sri Shankar Chakraborty  22144001,4159(Ext)     
Public Works  Sri Shankar Chakraborty  033- 2214 1616    micpwd@gmail.com 
Self Help Group and Self Employment  Sri Shantiram Mahato  (033)22627270/7237, 98300 31953(M)  (033) 2262 7237/7247  micshgse@gmail.com 
Water Investigation and Development  Sri Soumen Kumar Mahapatra  2214-5532, 4057(Ext), 4155(Extn)  2214-5492   
Public Health Engineering  Sri Subrata Mukherjee  2248-2130, 2262-3290  2248-9843  mic@wbphed.gov.in 
Panchayat and Rural Development  Sri Subrata Mukherjee  2214-5668, 2334-0003, 2334-5540, 2340-6530  2335-3334   
Animal Resources Development  Sri Swapan Debnath  2214-5663  2335-5662  mssenard@gmail.com 
Technical Education and Training  Sri Ujjal Biswas  (033) 2324-5853  (033) 2359-5853   
Backward Classes Welfare  Sri Upendra Nath Biswas  2214-3606, 4047(Ext), 4756(Ext)  2214-1035   

Minister of State

Department Name Phone Fax Email
Minorities Affairs and Madrasah Education  Jb. Gias Uddin Molla  2214-0032, 4160 (Ext)  2214-0031  mos.mamed@gmail.com 
Health and Family Welfare  Smt Chandrima Bhattacharya  2214-5802, 4490(Extn), 4114(Extn), 4852(Extn)  2214-4036   
Judicial  Smt. Chandrima Bhattacharya  2214-5802, 4490(Extn), 4114(Extn), 4852(Extn)  2214-4036   
Parliamentary Affairs  Sri Arup Biswas  2214-4035, 4734(Ext)  2214-1847   
Agriculture  Sri Becharam Manna  2214-0020  2214-0020   
Child Development  Sri Becharam Manna  2214-0020  22140020   
Sundarban Affairs  Sri Manturam Pakhira  033-2321-8238  033-2337-3544   
Irrigation and Waterways  Sri Manturam Pakhira  2337-3544, 2321-7440     
Public Health Engineering  Sri Pundarikakshya Saha  2262-5147 / 5177  2262-5147  mos@wbphed.gov.in 
Micro and Small Scale Enterprises and Textiles  Sri Swapan Debnath  2214-5662     
Land and Land Reforms  Sri Swapan Debnath  2214-5662     

West Bengal Lok Sabha Members

Rajya Sabha Members of West Bengal

1	Bandyopadhyay, Shri D.		AITC	West Bengal
2	Banerjee, Shri Ritabrata	CPI(M)	West Bengal
3	Bhattacharya, Shri P.		INC	West Bengal
4	Bose, Shri Srinjoy		AITC	West Bengal
5	Chakraborty, Shri Mithun	AITC	West Bengal
6	Chowdhury, Prof. Jogen		AITC	West Bengal
7	Ghosh, Shri Kunal Kumar		AITC	West Bengal
8	Gupta, Shri Vivek		AITC	West Bengal
9	Haque, Shri Md. Nadimul		AITC	West Bengal
10	Hassan, Shri Ahamed		AITC	West Bengal
11	O Brien, Shri Derek		AITC	West Bengal
12	Roy, Shri Mukul			AITC	West Bengal
13	Roy, Shri Sukhendu Sekhar	AITC	West Bengal
14	Sen, Shri Tapan Kumar		CPI(M)	West Bengal
15	Singh, Dr. Kanwar Deep		AITC	West Bengal
16	Yechury, Shri Sitaram		CPI(M)	West Bengal

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