In a major reshuffle effected in the Assam cabinet ahead of the 2021 Assembly election, Assam Finance, PWD and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma got back Education portfolio. Siddhartha Bhattacharya has been dropped from his Education portfolio.
Mahmora MLA Jogen Mohan got the Revenue and DM (Independent) and PWD (State) portfolios while Tinsukia MLA Sanjay Kishan got the Labour & Employment and Tea Tribes Welfare (Independent) portfolios. Mohan and Kishan both are the fresh induction in the cabinet.
On the other hand, Pijush Hazarika, Minister of State (Independent) Urban Development, Health & Family Welfare (State), got additional charge of Town and Country Planning portfolio.
With these two fresh inductions, the Sonowal’s ministry has now 18 members. In the 44-month old Sonowal government, 12 of the ministers are from the BJP and alliance partners – Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front- have three members each.
Including the chief minister, Assam’s council of ministers can have a maximum of 19 members. The remaining single berth is likely to be filled ahead of the Assembly Elections in 2021.
The induction of the two Upper Assam MLAs in Sonowal’s ministry comes at a time when the state is witnessing non-stop protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, especially in Upper Assam.
Kishan hails from the tea tribe community whereas, Mohan represents the Ahom community. The new minister has replaced Pallab Lochan Das, from the tea community, and Tapan Gogoi, an Ahom, who was elected to the Lok Sabha last year from Tezpur and Jorhat parliamentary constituencies.
Photo credit: @himantbiswa