Guwahati: The love and affection of Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards the north-eastern States became visible again while the responsible saffron leader allocated various ministries with impressive representation from NE in the first cabinet expansion of his second consecutive term as the head of Union government in New Delhi.
For the first time, five central ministries including two with cabinet ranks, have been offered to Bhartiya Janata Party leaders from the land-locked region surrounded by Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet (China), Myanmar and Bangladesh. Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal Pradesh and Sarbananda Sonowal from Assam were made Union cabinet ministers in the reshuffle.
Rameshwar Teli from Assam, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh from Manipur and Pratima Bhaumick from Tripura were offered MoS in different departments. Teli retained the post of minister of state and has been allocated the petroleum & natural gas ministry and in labour & employment ministry. First time Parliamentarian Singh, who is more popular as an environmentalist, got MoS portfolio in external affairs and education ministry.
Another first time Parliamentarian Ms Bhaumick is made MoS in social justice & empowerment ministry. Incidentally, she becomes the first politician from Tripura to get a central ministry birth and second women leader from the region (after Bijaya Chakravarty from Assam) to get the responsibility of an Union minister.
Rijiju, who was serving as the sports and youth affairs minister in PM Modi’s cabinet, now takes charges as the cabinet minister of law & justice. After assuming the charge, the energetic minister commented that it was a huge challenge and responsibility for him. Creating robust legal system in the country is a part of PM Modi’s vision of making Atmanirbhar Bharat.
As assumed the former Assam chief minister Sonowal, who paved the way for Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma to become next saffron CM in the State, is made cabinet minister for Ayush and shipping, ports & waterways. Sonowal earlier served as the sports and skill development minister in Modi’s first tenure cabinet before leading the BJP’s alliance government in Dispur.
Other important Union ministers who took oath on Wednesday include Mansukh Mandaviya (health), Dharmendra Pradhan (education) Anurag Thakur (information & broadcasting, sports), Jyotiratidya Scindia (civil aviation), Narayan Rane (MoS, msme), Ashwini Vaishnaw (MoS, railways, information technology), Bhupender Yadav (MoS, environment), Meenakashi Lekhi (MoS, culture), etc.