Tarun Gogoi rubbishes media reports
Guwahati, January 23
[dropcap]R[/dropcap]ubbishing media reports, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday said the reshuffle of his ministry had nothing to do with the assembly elections in the state, due early 2016.
“The Ministry wasn’t reshuffled with an eye on the polls. We took into consideration various factors such as religion, caste, ethnicity etc while selecting the Ministers,” he told journalists following the swearing-in of his Ministers.
Governor PB Acharya administered the oath of office and secrecy to 14 Ministers, including six new faces, at the Raj Bhavan. Gogoi retained six Ministers and dropped eight of the previous Ministry. Two of the new Ministers were from the dissident camp.The 11 Cabinet Ministers include Dr. Bhumidhar Barman, Dr. Nazrul Islam, Ajanta Neog, Khorsing Engti, Sarat Barkataky, Rockybul Hussain, Ajit Singh, Chandan Sarkar, Sukur Ali, Atuwa Munda and Basanta Das.
Three others, Girindra Mallick, Sumitra Patir and Bismita Gogoi, were sworn in as Ministers of State.
Asked if the first timers will be able to live up to people’s expectations, the Chief Minister said they would learn.
“They have been given a responsibility. Unless you give responsibility to someone, how will you know whether he or she will succeed?” he said. Both experience and exuberance have found their way into the ministry. Barman, a former Chief Minister, and Barkataky, a former Minister, are aged over 75 years while first timer Bismita is in her thirties.
“I have faith in them. I am confident they will be able to deliver,” he said.
The Congress under Gogoi has been in power for three consecutive terms since 2001. Gogoi was hopeful that the party would win the next elections too. However, he felt, a united effort would be needed to retain power.
“We all have to work hard. We will win if the Ministers, former Ministers, sitting MLAs, former MLAs and party workers can put in our best effort,” he said.