Among the new ministers sworn-in on Tuesday is Rajya Sabha member Parshottam Rupala, who is known to be close to BJP president Amit Shah. In fact, when Shah was away from Gujarat because of the court cases against him, and was living in Delhi, it was Rupala who would get his Rajya Sabha pass made regularly so that Shah could enter Parliament.
Making the cut
Nowgong MP Rajen Gohain, the lone representative from Assam to be sworn-in as a minister on Tuesday, made the cut after some last-minute drama. Gohain was beginning to cross paths with Assam Education and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma because of the former’s insistence that the Assam AIIMS come up in Nowgong, and not the currently finalised location of Jalah, Kamrup. Jalah is close to Sarma’s own constituency, Jalukbari. The party, it is learnt, chose to accommodate Gohain in Delhi to avoid any unpleasantness. Meanwhile, Mangaldoi MP Ramen Deka, who many thought would be the final choice for the post, was left camping in Delhi till the last minute.
THE RAILWAY Ministry was almost sure that it will get another MoS from the 19 new ministers who were sworn-in on Tuesday. As it happened, Rajen Gohain was given the portfolio. Gohain is likely to occupy a huge room, complete with an attached anteroom and a toilet. The room was till now being used as a makeshift studio for Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s TV interviews. Sometimes, files would be kept in that room. Some officials had even developed the habit of using the toilet inside.