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Assam CM Sonowal expands cabinet after two years, inducts seven new ministers

Seven ministers inducted into the Assam Cabinet on Thursday in its first expansion since its inception.

By: Express Web Desk | Guwahati |
Updated: April 26, 2018 6:16:43 pm
Assam CM, Sarbananda Sonowal on Cabinet Expansion, Assam Cabinet Expansion Assam Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal along with the newly inducted ministers at Raj Bhavan, Guwahati.

Twenty-three months since it was formed, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday expanded his cabinet and filled seven of the eight vacant ministerial berths.

The ministers who took the oath of offfice this morning include five from the BJP and one each from the saffron party’s alliance partners — the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF). The oath to the ministers was administered by Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi in the Dorbar Hall of Raj Bhavan in Guwahati.

Assam CM, Sarbananda Sonowal on Cabinet Expansion, Assam Cabinet Expansion Assam Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal rise for National Anthem during the swearing in ceremony at Raj Bhavan, Guwahati.

The five BJP MLAs who took oath as ministers are East Guwahati MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Diphu MLA Sum Ronghang, Sonari legislator Tapan Kumar Gogoi, Jagiroad MLA Pijush Hazarika and Rangia MLA Bhabesh Kalita. From the alliance parties, it was veteran leader Phani Bhushan Choudhury from AGP and BPF legislator Chandan Brahma. The latter took the oath in Bodo.

Assam CM, Sarbananda Sonowal on Cabinet Expansion, Assam Cabinet Expansion Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal greeting and congratulating new ministers sworn in at Raj Bhavan, Guwahati.

Out of the seven, four (Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Chandan Brahma, Phani Bhushan Choudhury and Sum Ronghang) got cabinet ranks. Three (Pijush Hazarika, Tapan Kumar Gogoi and Bhabesh Kalita) were given the post of Minister of State (MoS) with independent charge.

Minister for Education, Health and Finance Himanta Biswa Sarma welcomed the new ministers through a series of tweets.

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Soon after the swearing-in ceremony, Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan resigned from two of his posts — president of the Panchayat Election Strategic Committee and chairman of the Governing Body of the Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh.

The Sonowal-led Cabinet now has 18 ministers. One ministerial berth remains to be filled.

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