Assam Chief Minister Himanta Sarma Assigns Portfolios To 13 Ministers

Himanta Biswa Sarma was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Assam on Monday

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Sarma Assigns Portfolios To 13 Ministers

New Assam Chief Minister Himanta Sarma has given himself Home but assigned away Health (File)


New Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma assigned portfolios to his cabinet on Tuesday, a day after he was sworn in. Mr Sarma retained PWD from the last term, as also Home, Personnel and "other departments not allotted to any other minister of his cabinet.

The council of ministers comprises 11 from the BJP, two from alliance partner AGP (Asom Gana Parishad) and one from the UPPL (United People's Party Liberal).

Mr Sarma has given away the Finance, Health and Education posts, which he held in the last government, to Ajanta Neog (a former Congress colleague), Keshab Mahanta (from ally Asom Gana Parishad) and Ranoj Pegu (a first-time minister), respectively.

Ajanta Neog becomes the first woman to hold the Finance portfolio for the Assam government. She is also the only woman in Mr Sarma's cabinet. In addition, she will also handle Social Welfare.

Mr Mahanta has also been given Science & Technology and Information & Technology.

Mr Pegu has been given additional charge of Welfare of Tribes and Backward Classes in the non-Bodoland Territorial Region.

From last year's cabinet, AGP president Atul Bora has retained Agriculture and Horticulture, and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, while also getting Border Area Development and Implementation of Assam Accord, and Cooperation.

The BJP's Chandra Mohan Patowary, a minister in the previous government, has been allocated Transport, Industries and Commerce, Skill Development and Welfare of Minorities.

Party colleague Parimal Suklabaidya was given the charge of Environment and Forests, Fisheries, and Excise, the same department he held in the previous government.

BJP state chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass has been given Panchayat and Rural Development, Public Health Engineering, Food and Civil Supplies, and Consumer Affairs.

The UPPL is represented through former Rajya Sabha MP Urkhao Gwra Brahma, who gets Handloom and Textile, Soil Conservation, and Welfare of Plain Tribe and Backward Classes.

Last term's Ministers of State - Pijush Hazarika, Jogen Mohan and Sanjay Kishan - have been promoted to cabinet ministers.

Mr Hazarika had been given Water Resources, Information and Public Relations, and Parliamentary Affairs. Mr Mohan received Revenue and Disaster Management, Hills Area Development, and Mines and Minerals. Mr Kishan received Welfare of Tea Tribes, Labour and Employment.

Among first-time ministers, Ashok Singhal gets Guwahati Development, Urban Development and Irrigation, and Bimal Bora Sports and Youth Welfare, Cultural Affairs, Power and Tourism.