Assam Chief Minister expands cabinet, reshuffles departments

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Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister expands cabinet, reshuffles departments .Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday added two new ministers and made major reshuffles in his cabinet, with several old bodyguards losing some key portfolios.

This was the first expansion by Sarma since taking over as the state’s chief minister about 13 months ago. ‘By rearranging the portfolios of incumbent ministers to BJP MLAs Jayanta Mala Baruah, former Congressman and Nandita Gorlosa, the first saffron party legislator to be sworn in during the day. Cabinet portfolios have been assigned.
Twelve will be in charge of public health engineering, skills, employment and entrepreneurship and tourism, while Gorlosa will oversee power, cooperation, mining and minerals, and local and tribal beliefs and cultural departments.

According to his official dialogue with Governor Jagdish Mukhi regarding the reshuffle of departments, Sarma himself is retaining the house, staff, public works and other unallocated departments without any change.

Senior Minister Chandra Mohan Patwari has been stripped of some key ministries such as transport, industry and trade and skills, employment and entrepreneurship, but Act East policy matters, minority welfare, environment and forestry have been retained.
His colleague Ranjit Kumar Kumar Das has lost the portfolios of Public Health Engineering and Secretariat Administration, but retained Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Panchayat and Rural Development and General Administration.
Ajanta Newg has been retained as finance minister, but social welfare has been removed from his purview. The development of women and children will also be their new portfolio.

It said the co-operation department had been snatched from Atal Bora, head of the coalition AGP, but all his other offices were in the departments of agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and veterinary, border area development and implementation of the Assam Accord. Are untouchables
Senior BJP leader Parimal Suklabaidya has been removed from the charge of environment and forestry department but he retains fisheries and excise, while the portfolio of transport has been added to his kitty.

Ranoj Pegu will continue to be in charge of education, while his new department will be the Directorate of Local and Tribal Beliefs and Culture (Library and Museum Directorate). Their old portfolio of welfare of simple tribes and backward classes has been named as Tribal Welfare Department.

Instead of developing Guwahati, Ashok Singhal will handle housing and civic affairs and irrigation, urban development including town and country planning and irrigation, the statement said.

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