Tarun Gogoi ministry expanded, 18 ministers sworn in

Six members of the previous ministry, including senior minister Bhumidhar Barman, were dropped.

Guwahati: The Tarun Gogoi ministry in Assam
was expanded on Friday with the induction of 18 ministers,
including 14 in the cabinet rank, taking the strength of the
nine-day-old government to 19.

Six members of the previous ministry, including senior
minister Bhumidhar Barman, were dropped in the exercise, which
saw induction of five new faces - one in the cabinet rank and
rest as ministers of state with independent charge.
The ministers were sworn in by Governor J B Patnaik at
the ITA Cultural Centre here.

Besides Barman, who was also a former caretaker chief
minister, others who were dropped are Bodoland People Front
(BPF) leaders Pramila Rani Brahma and Rihon Daimary, Pranab
Gogoi, Dinesh Prasad Goala and Gautam Bora.

Two other former ministers - Bharat Chandra Narah and
Nurjamal Sarkar - who lost the Assembly elections, were also
not made part of the new team.

Among the new faces, Nilamoni Sen Deka, who defeated AGP
chief Chandra Mohan Patowary, was rewarded with a cabinet
berth. The four new ministers of state are Ajit Singh,
Siddeque Ahmed, Basanta Das and Rajiv Lochan Pegu.

Senior minister in the last government Prithvi Majhi was
the first to take the oath followed by former Speaker Tanka
Bahadur Rai, former ministers Gautam Roy, Ajanta Neog and Akon
They were followed by Ardhendu Dey, former minister in
the Hiteswar Saikia government, and BPF`s lone representative
Chandan Brahma.

Former ministers during the last two terms of Gogoi -
Himanta Biswa Sarma, Khorsing Engti, Nazrul Islam, Pradyut
Bordoloi, Rockybul Hussain and former deputy speaker Pranati
Phukan - were sworn in as cabinet ministers.

Most of the ministers took oath in Assamese, barring Dey,
Engti and Ajit Singh who preferred English. Gautam Roy and
Ahmed took oath in Bengali, while Brahma did so in Bodo.

All ministers took oath in the name of God, while Nazrul,
Hussain and Ahmed swore in the name of Allah.

Gogoi was sworn in as Chief Minister for the third
consecutive term on May 18 after Congress won 78 of the 126
Assembly seats.


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