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Gogoi Cabinet to have 18 Ministers

Special Correspondent



Tarun Gogoi

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday constituted his new Council of Ministers.

Mr. Gogoi returned from Delhi in the afternoon after obtaining the seal of approval from Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the list. The Cabinet will have 17 Congress legislators and one Bodoland People's Front (BPF) legislator. Fourteen will be sworn in as Cabinet Ministers and four as Ministers of State (Independent charge).

An official release issued later in the night said Prithibi Majhi, Gautom Roy, Tanka Bahadur Rai, Ajanata Neog, Akon Bora, Dr. Ardhendu Dey, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Khor Singh Engti, Dr. Nazrul Islam, Nilomoni Sen Deka, Pradyut Bordoloi, Pranati Phukan, Rockybul Hussain (all from Congress) and Chandan Brahma of the BPF will be the new Cabinet Ministers.

The four Ministers of State (Independent charge) will be Ajit Singh, Basanta Das, Rajib Lochan Pegu and Sidduque Ahmed. Governor J.B. Patnaik will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the Ministers. The swearing-in ceremony has been arranged at the ITA Cultural Centre for want of space at the Raj Bhavan. Though the Congress was in position to form the government on its own, Mr. Gogoi decided to continue the alliance with the BPF. In the previous Congress-BPF coalition government the BPF had three Cabinet Ministers. Of them only Mr. Brahma will be the lone BPF representative in the new Gogoi team.

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