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List of Chief Ministers of West Bengal

Chief Minister of West Bengal
Mamata Banerjee

since 20 May 2011
Residence Chief Minister Abas, Kolkata[1]
Seat Writers' Building, Kolkata[a]
Appointer Governor of West Bengal
Inaugural holder Prafulla Chandra Ghosh
Formation 15 August 1947
(as Premier of West Bengal)

The Chief Minister of West Bengal is the chief executive of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. As per the Constitution of India, the governor is a state's de jure head, but de facto executive authority rests with the chief minister. Following elections to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, the state's governor usually invites the party (or coalition) with a majority of seats to form the government. The governor appoints the chief minister, whose council of ministers are collectively responsible to the assembly. Given that he has the confidence of the assembly, the chief minister's term is for five years and is subject to no term limits.[3]

West Bengal origins lie in Bengal, a province of the British Raj that included present-day Bangladesh. Between 1937 and 1947 it was intermittently governed by a popularly elected ministry, whose head is often designated the Premier of Bengal. In 1947, Bengal province was partitioned into the Indian state of West Bengal and East Pakistan. All three erstwhile Bengal premiers—A. K. Fazlul Huq, Khawaja Nazimuddin and H. S. Suhrawardy—became Pakistani citizens; the latter two went on to become Prime Ministers of Pakistan in the 1950s.

Since 1947, there have been eight Chief Ministers of West Bengal. The first was Prafulla Chandra Ghosh of the Indian National Congress, who was succeeded by his party-mates Bidhan Chandra Roy and Prafulla Chandra Sen. A decade of instability followed, marred by fractious coalition governments and frequent impositions of President's rule. The instability ended with 1977 election victory of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM). Headed by Jyoti Basu, the CPM-led Left Front government was in office for over 23 years (1977–2000), making Basu India's longest-serving chief minister ever. Left rule in West Bengal continued for another 10 years under Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, before its defeat in the 2011 election by the Trinamool Congress. Appointed on 20 May 2011, Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee is the current incumbent, the state's first woman chief minister.

Colour key for parties

Premiers of Bengal

Following partition, the former premiers of BengalA. K. Fazlul Huq, Khawaja Nazimuddin and H. S. Suhrawardy—all became Pakistani citizens. The latter two became Prime Ministers of Pakistan in the 1950s.
No Name Took office[4] Left office Duration Election Party
1 A. K. Fazlul Huq[b] 1 April 1937 1 December 1941 5 years, 351 days 1937 Krishak Praja Party
12 December 1941 29 March 1943
2 Khawaja Nazimuddin 29 April 1943 31 March 1945 2 years, 2 days All-India Muslim League
3 H. S. Suhrawardy 23 April 1946 14 August 1947 1 year, 113 days 1946

Chief Ministers of West Bengal

Writers' Building, an 18th-century Company-era construction in Kolkata, serves as the office of West Bengal's chief Minister.
File:Prafullachandra Ghosh at Writers' Building in 1947.jpg
The first Chief Minister of West Bengal, Prafulla Chandra Ghosh, at Writers' in 1947
File:Presidential Standard of India.PNG
The Presidential Standard of India. Between 1968 and 1977, West Bengal came under President's rule on four occasions.
File:Jyoti Basu - Calcutta 1996-12-21 089 Cropped.png
With over 23 years in office, Jyoti Basu of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is India's longest-serving chief minister.
Basu's successor Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, who served for over 10 years
File:Mamata banerjee.jpg
Current incumbent Mamata Banerjee, the state's first woman premier, whose 2011 victory ended 34 years of Left rule in West Bengal
No[c] Name Took office[6][7] Left office Duration Assembly[8]
Premier of West Bengal
1 Prafulla Chandra Ghosh 15 August 1947 22 January 1948 160 days Not yet created Indian National Congress
2 Bidhan Chandra Roy 23 January 1948 25 January 1950 2 years, 2 days
Chief Minister of West Bengal
(2) Bidhan Chandra Roy 26 January 1950 30 March 1952 10 years, 92 days
(total: 12 years, 94 days)
Not yet created Indian National Congress
31 March 1952 5 April 1957 First Assembly (1952–57)
(January 1952 election)
6 April 1957 2 April 1962 Second Assembly (1957–62)
(March 1957 election)
3 April 1 July 1962 Third Assembly (1962–67)
(February 1962 election)
3 Prafulla Chandra Sen[d] 1 July 1962 28 February 1967 4 years, 242 days
4 Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee 1 March 21 November 1967 265 days Fourth Assembly (1967–68)
(February 1967 election)
Bangla Congress
(United Front)
(1) Prafulla Chandra Ghosh 21 November 1967 19 February 1968 90 days
(total: 250 days)
(Progressive Democratic Front)
(President's rule)
20 February 1968 25 February 1969 1 year, 5 days Dissolved N/A
(4) Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee 25 February 1969 30 July 1970 1 year, 155 days Fifth Assembly (1969–70)
(February 1969 election)
Bangla Congress
(United Front)
(President's rule)
30 July 1970 2 March 1971 215 days Dissolved N/A
(1) Prafulla Chandra Ghosh 2 April 25 June 1971 84 days
(total: 2 years, 139 days)
Sixth Assembly (1971)
(March 1971 election)
Indian National Congress
(President's rule)
25 June 1971 19 March 1972 268 days Dissolved N/A
5 Siddhartha Shankar Ray 20 March 1972 30 April 1977 5 years, 41 days Seventh Assembly (1972–77)
(March 1972 election)
Indian National Congress
(President's rule)
30 April 20 June 1977 51 days Dissolved N/A
6 Jyoti Basu 21 June 1977 23 May 1982 23 years, 137 days Eighth Assembly (1977–82)
(June 1977 election)
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
(Left Front)
24 May 1982 29 March 1987 Ninth Assembly (1982–87)
(May 1982 election)
30 March 1987 18 June 1991 Tenth Assembly (1987–91)
(March 1987 election)
19 June 1991 15 May 1996 Eleventh Assembly (1991–96)
(May 1991 election)
16 May 1996 5 November 2000 Twelfth Assembly (1996–2001)
(May 1996 election)
7 Buddhadeb Bhattacharya 6 November 2000 14 May 2001 10 years, 188 days
15 May 2001 17 May 2006 Thirteenth Assembly (2001–06)
(May 2001 election)
18 May 2006 13 May 2011 Fourteenth Assembly (2006–11)
(April–May 2006 election)
8 Mamata Banerjee 20 May 2011 Incumbent 4 years, 267 days Fifteenth Assembly (2011–16)
(April–May 2011 election)
All India Trinamool Congress

See also


  1. ^ Since October 2013 Chief Minister Banerjee has been working from the top floor of the newly constructed Nabanna building in Howrah, while Writers' undergoes renovation.[2]
  2. ^ During Fazlul Huq's first term (1937–41), his ministry was formed in coalition with the Muslim League. His second government (1941–43), on the other hand, was propped up by eight parties, with the Muslim League in opposition.[5]
  3. ^ A number inside brackets indicates that the incumbent has previously held office.
  4. ^ During 1–8 July 1962, Sen was acting Chief Minister of West Bengal. He was sworn-in as full-time chief minister on 9 July.
  5. ^ a b c d President's rule may be imposed when the "government in a state is not able to function as per the Constitution", which often happens because no party or coalition has a majority in the assembly. When President's rule is in force in a state, its council of ministers stands dissolved. The office of chief minister thus lies vacant, and the administration is taken over by the governor, who functions on behalf of the central government. At times, the legislative assembly also stands dissolved.[10]
  1. ^ Arshad Ali. "Mamata may move to new CM's residence — British-era bungalow". The Indian Express. 8 October 2013.
  2. ^ Shiv Sahay Singh. "Mamata shifts office to Nabanna". The Hindu. 6 October 2013.
  3. ^ Durga Das Basu. Introduction to the Constitution of India. 1960. 20th Edition, 2011 Reprint. pp. 241, 245. LexisNexis Butterworths Wadhwa Nagpur. ISBN 978-81-8038-559-9. Note: although the text talks about Indian state governments in general, it applies for the specific case of West Bengal as well.
  4. ^ Premiers of Bengal. West Bengal Legislative Assembly. Retrieved on 12 June 2014.
  5. ^ Amalendu De; Enayetur Rahim. Huq, AK Fazlul. Banglapedia. Retrieved on 12 June 2014.
  6. ^ List of Chief Ministers of West Bengal (pdf). BanglarMukh. Retrieved on 12 June 2014.
  7. ^ Premiers/Chief Ministers of West Bengal. West Bengal Legislative Assembly. Retrieved on 12 June 2014.
  8. ^ Brief Information on Previous Assemblies. West Bengal Legislative Assembly. Retrieved on 12 June 2014.
  9. ^ Origin and Growth of the West Bengal Legislature. West Bengal Legislative Assembly. Retrieved on 12 June 2014.
  10. ^ Amberish K. Diwanji. "A dummy's guide to President's rule". 15 March 2005.