Chief Minister of West Bengal
পশ্চিমবঙ্গের মুখ্যমন্ত্রী
Photo of Mamata Banerjee
Mamata Banerjee
since 20 May 2011
TypeHead of Government
StatusLeader of the Executive
Member of
Reports to
Residence30-B, Harish Chatterjee Street, Kolkata[1]
SeatNabanna, Howrah[a]
NominatorMembers of the Government of West Bengal in West Bengal Legislative Assembly
AppointerGovernor of West Bengal by convention based on appointees ability to command confidence in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly
Term lengthAt the confidence of the assembly
Chief Minister's term is for five years and is subject to no term limits.[3]
PrecursorPrime Minister of Bengal
Inaugural holderPrafulla Chandra Ghosh as Premier
Bidhan Chandra Ray as Chief Minister
Formation15 August 1947
(76 years ago)
DeputyDeputy Chief Minister (vacant)
  • 117,000 (US$1,400)/monthly
  • 1,404,000 (US$17,000)/annually
WebsiteCMO West Bengal

The Chief Minister of West Bengal (Bengali: পশ্চিমবঙ্গের মুখ্যমন্ত্রী) is the head of the executive branch of the Government of West Bengal, the subnational authority of the Indian state of West Bengal. The chief minister is head of the Council of Ministers and appoints ministers. The chief minister, along with their cabinet, exercises executive authority in the state. The governor appoints the chief minister, whose council of ministers are collectively responsible to the assembly.

On 17 August 1947, the British Indian province of Bengal was partitioned into the Pakistani province of East Bengal and the Indian state of West Bengal. Since then West Bengal has had seven chief ministers, starting with Prafulla Chandra Ghosh of the Indian National Congress (INC) party as the premier (elected to lead the assembly while the chief minister is not appointed).[4] Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy in 1950 became the first formal Chief Minister of West Bengal after the implementation of the Indian Constitution. A period of political instability followed thereafter—West Bengal witnessed three elections, four coalition governments and three stints of President's rule between 1967 and 1972—before Siddhartha Shankar Ray of the INC served a five-year term.[5]

The landslide victory of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front in the 1977 election began Jyoti Basu's 23-year continuous reign as chief minister. The length of his tenure was an all-India record until 2018, when he was surpassed by Sikkim's Pawan Kumar Chamling.[6] Basu's successor Buddhadeb Bhattacharya continued the communist rule in West Bengal for another decade, when the Left Front was defeated in the 2011 election by the All India Trinamool Congress, thereby ending the 34-year long rule of the Left Front government, a fact that was noted by the international media. Sworn in on 20 May 2011, Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee is West Bengal's incumbent chief minister, the first woman to hold the office. She was subsequently voted to power in 2016 and 2021 assembly elections. She is the only female incumbent Chief Minister in India at present.


Colour key for parties
photo of Writers' Building
Writers' Building, an 18th-century Company-era construction in Kolkata, traditionally served as the office of West Bengal's chief minister.
photo of Prafulla Chandra Ghosh
The first Premier of West Bengal since Independence, Prafulla Chandra Ghosh, at Writers' in 1947
State Emblem of India
The State Emblem of India. West Bengal has come under President's rule on four occasions, all between 1968 and 1977.
photo of Jyoti Basu
With over 23 years in office, Jyoti Basu of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is India's third longest-serving chief minister.
photo of Buddhadeb Bhattacharya
Basu's successor Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, who served for over 10 years

Prime Ministers of West Bengal (1947–50)

Premiers of West Bengal
No. Portrait Name Tenure[7] Duration Assembly
Party[5] Appointed



1 photo of Prafulla Chandra Ghosh Prafulla Chandra Ghosh 15 August 1947 22 January 1948 160 days Provincial Assembly

(January 1946 election)

Indian National Congress Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari
2 Bidhan Chandra Roy 23 January 1948 26 January 1950 2 years, 3 days

Chief Ministers of West Bengal (1950–present)

Chief ministers of West Bengal
No[c] Portrait Name Constituency Tenure[d] Duration Assembly[8]
(2) Bidhan Chandra Roy
26 January 1950 30 March 1952 12 years, 156 days
(total: 14 years, 159 days)
Provincial Assembly[f]
(1946 election)
Indian National Congress
Bowbazar 31 March 1952 5 April 1957 1st

(1952 election)

6 April 1957 2 April 1962 2nd

(1957 election)

Chowrangee 3 April 1962 1 July 1962 3rd
(1962 election)
Prafulla Chandra Sen[g] Arambagh East 9 July 1962 28 February 1967 4 years, 234 days
3 Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee Tamluk 1 March 1967 21 November 1967 265 days 4th

(1967 election)

Bangla Congress
(United Front)
(1) photo of Prafulla Chandra Ghosh Prafulla Chandra Ghosh Jhargram 21 November 1967 19 February 1968 90 days
(total: 250 days)
(Progressive Democratic Front)
(President's rule)
N/A 20 February 1968 25 February 1969 1 year, 5 days Dissolved N/A
(3) Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee Tamluk 25 February 1969 16 March 1970 1 year, 19 days 5th
(1969 election)
Bangla Congress
(United Front)
(President's rule)
N/A 19 March 1970 30 July 1970 1 year, 14 days N/A
30 July 1970 2 April 1971 Dissolved
(3) Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee Tamluk 2 April 1971 28 June 1971 87 days
(total: 2 years, 6 days)

(1971 election)

Indian National Congress
(Democratic Coalition)
(President's rule)
N/A 29 June 1971 20 March 1972 265 days Dissolved N/A
Siddhartha Shankar Ray Maldah 20 March 1972 30 April 1977 5 years, 41 days 7th

(1972 election)

Indian National Congress
(Progressive Democratic Alliance)
(President's rule)
N/A 30 April 1977 20 June 1977 51 days Dissolved N/A
5 Jyoti Basu Satgachhia 21 June 1977 23 May 1982 23 years, 137 days 8th

(1977 election)

Communist Party of India (Marxist)
(Left Front)
24 May 1982 29 March 1987 9th

(1982 election)

30 March 1987 18 June 1991 10th

(1987 election)

19 June 1991 15 May 1996 11th

(1991 election)

16 May 1996 5 November 2000 12th

(1996 election)

6 Buddhadeb Bhattacharya Jadavpur 6 November 2000 14 May 2001 10 years, 188 days
15 May 2001 17 May 2006 13th

(2001 election)

18 May 2006 13 May 2011 14th
(2006 election)
7 Mamata Banerjee Bhabanipur 20 May 2011 25 May 2016 13 years, 30 days 15th

(2011 election)

Trinamool Congress[i]
26 May 2016 4 May 2021 16th

(2016 election)

5 May 2021 Incumbent 17th

(2021 election)

See also


  1. ^ Since October 2013 Chief Minister Banerjee has worked from the top floor of the newly constructed Nabanna building in Howrah, while Writers' Building undergoes renovation.[2]
  2. ^ This refers to the 90-member rump legislature that emerged following partition, representing the West Bengali constituencies of the erstwhile Bengal Legislative Assembly. It was constituted under the Government of India Act 1935, not the Indian Constitution, which was still in the process of being drafted.[5]
  3. ^ A number in parentheses indicates that the incumbent has previously held office.
  4. ^ While the tenures have been primarily sourced to a list on the West Bengal Legislative Assembly website,[7] obvious errors (mainly around the 1969–71 period) have been corrected with the help of a historical essay from the same website.[5]
  5. ^ Until March 1952, Roy did not represent any constituency. For his last three months in office, during the Third Assembly, Roy represented Chowringhee constituency.
  6. ^ Following the promulgation of the Constitution of India, the provincial assembly carried on as the legislative assembly of West Bengal until fresh elections could be organised in 1952.[5]
  7. ^ According to some sources, Sen also acted as interim chief minister during 2–8 July 1962.[9]
  8. ^ a b c d Under Article 356 of the Constitution of India, 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]
  9. ^ For the first 16 months Mamata Banerjee headed a coalition government that included ministers from Trinamool and the INC. After Trinamool quit the United Progressive Alliance in 22 September 2012, INC members resigned from her ministry, which has consisted of only Trinamool members ever since.[11]


  1. ^ Arshad Ali. "Mamata may move to new CM's residence – British-era bungalow". The Indian Express. 8 October 2013. Archived on 19 July 2014.
  2. ^ Shiv Sahay Singh. "Mamata shifts office to Nabanna". The Hindu. 6 October 2013. Archived on 21 December 2016.
  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. ^ Modern Bengal A Short History of Bengal. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Origin and Growth of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly. West Bengal Legislative Assembly. Retrieved on 27 July 2018.
    Note: In case of an error, please click the "Origin & Growth" button in the top left of the website.
  6. ^ "Pawan Kumar Chamling crosses Jyoti Basu’s record as longest-serving Chief Minister ". The Hindu. 29 April 2018.Archived on 31 July 2018.
  7. ^ a b Premiers/Chief Ministers of West Bengal. West Bengal Legislative Assembly. Archive link from 12 March 2016.
  8. ^ Brief Information on Previous Assemblies. West Bengal Legislative Assembly. Archive link from 12 March 2016.
  9. ^ List of Chief Ministers of West Bengal. Panchayat & Rural Development Department, Hooghly. Retrieved on 27 July 2018. Archived on 27 July 2018.
  10. ^ Amberish K. Diwanji. "A dummy's guide to President's rule". 15 March 2005. Archived on 16 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Six Congress ministers resign from Mamata government in Bengal".

Further reading