Guwahati, Jan 19 (IANS) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Monday convened a meeting of the council of ministers, following which all the ministers resigned to pave the way for reconstitution of the cabinet which has been kept pending for many years.
This will be the first reshuffle in 14 years under Gogoi’s leadership. Gogoi had led the Congress to victory in the 2001 assembly elections.
Although the Congress came to power again in 2006 and 2011, the party witnessed dissidence in the last four years, and a section of leaders demanded a change in leadership and cabinet reshuffle.
Sources said Gogoi was likely to reconstitute his ministry by Friday.
All the ministers Monday reached the chief minister’s official residence for the meeting and later tendered their resignations.
Power and Industries Minister Pradyut Bordoloi, Cultural Affairs Minister Pranati Phukan and Social Welfare Minister Akon Bora did not attend the meeting but sent their resignations to Gogoi.
“We resigned enmass today to pave the way for reconstitution of the ministry. I am a loyal soldier of the Congress and I am ready to play any role that is given to me,” said PHE minister Gautam Roy.
Congress sources said at least eight ministers were on their way out. They were Bordoloi, Roy, Phukan, Bora, Labour and Employment Minister Prithivi Majhi, Agriculture Minister Nilomoni Sen Deka, Planning and Development Minister Tanka Bahadur Rai and Water Resources Minister Rajib Lochan Pegu.
Veteran party leaders like Bhumidhar Barman and Sarat Barkotoky were likely to get a cabinet berth in the new ministry.
The names of Chandan Sarkar, Etowa Munda, Girindra Mallick, Sukur Ali, Bismita Gogoi, Sumitra Patir were also doing the rounds.
The sources said Food and Civil Supplies Minister Nazrul Islam and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain were likely to be given new portfolios.
Meanwhile, though there were indications of a fresh rebellion within the Congress, newly elected state chief Anjan Dutta Monday made it clear that there was no dissidence.