NEW DELHI, Oct 27 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today formally set in motion the process of reshuffling his council of ministers by holding deliberations with political advisor to Congress president Ahmed Patel and AICC general secretary in-charge for Assam Dr CP Joshi.
The Chief Minister is likely to call on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday ostensibly to get a final clearance from the Party High Command.
The Chief Minister has reportedly expressed his plans to drop four ministers, while four vacancies already exist. In all, eight new faces are expected to be inducted, while portfolios of some of his ministers are also likely to be changed.
Gogoi, who started his exercise quite late in the afternoon, was closeted with Joshi for about 45 minutes. The Chief Minister and Dr Joshi reportedly exchanged views on the list prepared by the former. The AICC general secretary favours an overhaul of the council of ministers and revamp of the PCC.
Immediately after the meeting with Joshi, the Chief Minister left for a meeting with Patel, who reportedly vetted the list, though a final call would be taken by the Congress president and the vice president. The Chief Minister after his meeting with Patel confirmed that the discussion centred on reshuffle, but he wondered loudly whether the reshuffle would resolve all the trouble.
Those in the list who are expected to be dropped include State Ministers Akon Bora, Prithvi Majhi and Khor Singh Engti among others.
Those on the list likely to be inducted include Etwa Munda, Bidya Singh Engleng and Bhupen Bora, besides Sarat Barkataky, Anjan Dutta, Abdul Muhim Mazumdar, Chandan Sarkar and Arun Phukan, among others.
Sources said a legal hiccup Gogoi faced was regarding induction of Anjan Dutta, who is under the CBI scanner in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam. However, Dutta obtained and submitted a legal opinion by Abhishek Manu Singhvi, which reportedly exonerated him. Dutta�s dealings with Saradha chief Sudipto Sen were described as business dealings and not part of a criminal conspiracy.
Meanwhile, Gogoi is also under pressure from the State Congress, as a suggestion has allegedly been made that all the ministers in his council of ministers should be asked to step down and the ministry should be reconstituted.
Sources said that much significance is being attached to APCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita�s meeting with Rahul Gandhi last week, when a report was submitted.
The State Congress Party is rattled by reports that the Modi Government might go after at least eight ministers against whom serious charges of corruption have been levelled and brought to the notice of the Centre.
Meanwhile, Dr Joshi told reporters that he had a political discussion with Gogoi.