Guwahati: Sarbananda Sonowal was on Tuesday sworn in as the first BJP Chief Minister of Assam at a gala event in Guwahati attended by all the saffron heavyweights, ranging from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Rajnath Singh to BJP president Amit Shah.
Taking over as the 17th chief minister of Assam, he reiterated his poll promises. Mr Sonowal’s mission is to make Assam foreigners-free, corruption-free and pollution-free.
Along with Mr Sonowal, 10 ministers, including from alliance partners Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People’s Front (BPF), also took the oath of office. The six from the BJP to take oath as ministers were Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chandra Mohan Patowary, Ranjit Dutta, Parimal Suklabaidya, Pallab Lochan Das and Naba Kumar Doley.
The two from AGP to be sworn in were Atul Bora (Jr) and Kesab Mahanta, while the two from the BPF were Pramila Rani Brahma and Rihan Daimary. Assam governor P.B. Acharya administered the oath of office to the chief minister in the presence of the BJP heavyweights and other dignitaries at a huge public function at Khanapara field in Guwahati.
BJP senior leaders L.K. Advani and Nitin Gadkari and the chief ministers of 14 NDA-ruled states were among the many VIPs who attended the ceremony. Former Congress chief minister Tarun Gogoi was also present.
In his maiden public speech, Mr Sonowal said the people of Assam had given an overwhelming mandate to the BJP for development. “I would like to assure that you will not be disappointed,” said the new chief minister who reiterated his commitment to protect and defend the interests of the greater Assamese community.
Hemanta Biswa Sarma, AGP president Atul Bora, BPF leader Pramila Rani Brahma, Parimal Shukla Vaidya, Chandra Mohan Patowary, Keshaw Mahanta, Ranjit Dutta and Rihang Daimary took the oath as Cabinet ministers. Naba Kumar Doley and Pallab Lochan Das also took the oath but were made ministers of state with independent charge.
The BJP does not enjoy a simple majority in the 126-member House; it has 60 seats, while its allies Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) hold 14 and 12 seats, respectively....