Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday dismissed suggestions that the reshuffle in his Council of Ministers was done with an eye on the 2016 Assembly polls in the state and said the new ministers would work for the people of the state.
"There are former ministers and new entrants in my new council of ministers. I have faith that the ministers will work for the benefit of the people. First time ministers will learn," he told reporters after the swearing-in in Raj Bhavan here.
Asked if the reshuffle was effected with an eye on the upcoming 2016 Assembly elections, Gogoi replied in the negative. "There are several criteria for selection of ministers. All kinds of factors such as religion, caste, ethnicity and many other factors are taken into account," he said.
"We are not like the RSS or BJP. There is a difference between us (Congress) and them. They are cadre based parties and we are a mass based party. They are cheating the people of Assam. We will expose them. We will win the 2016 elections and do even better than now", he asserted.
On the opposition parties' and others allegation that 'failed ministers' of the previous ministry were retained in the new ministry, Gogoi retorted "Some see them as failures. I am also called a failure by some senior journalists and experts."
"Can ministers make us win election? Good work will be done by the new ministers. The new ministers, former ministers, MLAs, ex-MLAs and party workers will work together and deliver", he said.
Earlier in the day, Gogoi effected a major reshuffle in his three and half year-old-ministry ministry inducting 11 cabinet and three ministers of state with independent charge. They were sworn-in by Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya at the Raj Bhavan here.
Dr Bhumidhar Barman, Sarat Barkatoky, Ajanta Neog, Nazrul Islam, Rockybul Hussain, Chandan Kumar Sarkar, Khorsing Engti, Sukur Ali Ahmed, Ajit Singh, Basanta Das and Etuwa Munda took oath as cabinet ministers.
Sumitra Patir, Girindra Mallick and Bismita Gogoi were sworn-in as Ministers of State with independent charge.