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Gogoi ministry reshuffle gets Sonia�s nod

By Spl Correspondent
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NEW DELHI, Jan 16 � Decks have been cleared for reshuffle of the Tarun Gogoi ministry, with Congress president Sonia Gandhi putting her stamp of approval on the list submitted by the Chief Minister.

The list was carried by AICC general secretary Dr CP Joshi from Guwahati and the Congress president cleared it on Thursday, a senior AICC leader confirmed.

According to sources, those who are tipped to be inducted into the ministry include veterans like Dr Bhumidhar Barman and Sarat Barkataky. Etuwa Munda, Girindra Mullick, Bismita Gogoi, Sumitra Patir, Sukur Ali and Chandan Sarkar are also reported to be in the list.

While those likely to face the axe include heavy weights like Pradyut Bordoloi, Gautam Roy, Nilamani Sen Deka, Akon Bora, Pranati Phukan, Prithivi Majhi, Rajiv Lochan Pegu and Tanka Bahadur Rai, among others.

Significantly, Gogoi had resisted dropping of Pradyut Bordoloi and Gautam Roy and had advocated their continuance in the ministry.

Sources said that the list has been prepared on the basis of certain criteria drawn up in consultation between AICC and the Chief Minister.

The prime clause was performance of the ministers during the last Parliamentary elections. The second criteria was the age factor with preference being given to those above 40 years, said sources.

However, if the list is anything to go by the party seems to have ignored some of the criteria like keeping out those over 70 years of age. The names of Dr Bhumidhar Barman and Sarat Barkataky in the list establishes that. The fact that Barkataky is a Brahmin leader and Dr Barman hails from Lower Assam may have gone in their favour.

The Chief Minister had sought to effect the change on January 17, but the reshuffle could not be carried out because of the absence of the Governor. The reshuffle would now take place when the Governor returns, said sources.

Party sources said that Gogoi acted independently while selecting his new ministers, as he has chosen not to pay heed to any camp including that of PCC president Anjan Dutta. However, he totally sidelined the faction led by Himanta Biswa Sarma.

However, there is apprehension among a section of leadership that the Himanta Biswa Sarma camp might grow stronger, as a section of the dropped ministers might join hands with him.

Sources said that the ensuing reshuffle would be only phase one of the exercise, as another exercise is likely soon, when several young MLAs may be inducted as Parliamentary Secretaries.

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Gogoi ministry reshuffle gets Sonia�s nod

NEW DELHI, Jan 16 � Decks have been cleared for reshuffle of the Tarun Gogoi ministry, with Congress president Sonia Gandhi putting her stamp of approval on the list submitted by the Chief Minister.

The list was carried by AICC general secretary Dr CP Joshi from Guwahati and the Congress president cleared it on Thursday, a senior AICC leader confirmed.

According to sources, those who are tipped to be inducted into the ministry include veterans like Dr Bhumidhar Barman and Sarat Barkataky. Etuwa Munda, Girindra Mullick, Bismita Gogoi, Sumitra Patir, Sukur Ali and Chandan Sarkar are also reported to be in the list.

While those likely to face the axe include heavy weights like Pradyut Bordoloi, Gautam Roy, Nilamani Sen Deka, Akon Bora, Pranati Phukan, Prithivi Majhi, Rajiv Lochan Pegu and Tanka Bahadur Rai, among others.

Significantly, Gogoi had resisted dropping of Pradyut Bordoloi and Gautam Roy and had advocated their continuance in the ministry.

Sources said that the list has been prepared on the basis of certain criteria drawn up in consultation between AICC and the Chief Minister.

The prime clause was performance of the ministers during the last Parliamentary elections. The second criteria was the age factor with preference being given to those above 40 years, said sources.

However, if the list is anything to go by the party seems to have ignored some of the criteria like keeping out those over 70 years of age. The names of Dr Bhumidhar Barman and Sarat Barkataky in the list establishes that. The fact that Barkataky is a Brahmin leader and Dr Barman hails from Lower Assam may have gone in their favour.

The Chief Minister had sought to effect the change on January 17, but the reshuffle could not be carried out because of the absence of the Governor. The reshuffle would now take place when the Governor returns, said sources.

Party sources said that Gogoi acted independently while selecting his new ministers, as he has chosen not to pay heed to any camp including that of PCC president Anjan Dutta. However, he totally sidelined the faction led by Himanta Biswa Sarma.

However, there is apprehension among a section of leadership that the Himanta Biswa Sarma camp might grow stronger, as a section of the dropped ministers might join hands with him.

Sources said that the ensuing reshuffle would be only phase one of the exercise, as another exercise is likely soon, when several young MLAs may be inducted as Parliamentary Secretaries.