GUWAHATI, April 25 - As many as seven new ministers will be inducted into the Sarbananda Sonowal-led ministry tomorrow, in what will be the first expansion since the BJP-led NDA regime took office in the State 23 months ago.
While five of the new ministers will be from the BJP, the junior alliance partners � AGP and BPF � will have one new minister each from their quota.
Of the new ministers who will be administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Raj Bhavan at 10 am tomorrow by Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi, four will be sworn in as Cabinet ministers while the remaining three will be ministers of state with independent charge.
From the BJP, the new entrants in the ministry will be Siddhartha Bhattacharya (MLA from Guwahati East), Sum Ronghang (Diphu), Pijush Hazarika (Jagiroad), Topon Kumar Gogoi (Sonari) and Bhabesh Kalita (Rangiya).
From the alliance partners, the names of senior AGP leader and Bongaigaon MLA Phani Bhushan Choudhury and BPF leader and Sidli MLA Chandan Brahma figure in the list of those who will be inducted in the ministry.
While Bhattacharya, Ronghang, Choudhury and Brahma will be inducted as Cabinet ministers, the other three will be ministers of state with independent charge.
There are eight vacant slots in the ministry, which took charge in May 2016. However, only seven berths will be filled up in what will be the first expansion of the 23-month-old ministry.
Till yesterday, most leaders of the ruling alliance were stating that only six of the vacant berths will be filled in this round of expansion.
Along with induction of the seven new ministers, Chief Minister Sonowal will also carry out a reshuffle of the portfolios of all serving ministers. Most of the ministers are now holding multiple portfolios and the number of departments under them will be trimmed and distributed among the new entrants.
The State ministry can have a maximum of 19 members. There are currently 11 ministers, including the Chief Minister.