NEW DELHI, July 5 - Nagaon MP Rajen Gohain was among 19 new ministers sworn in by President Pranab Mukherjee here this morning in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet colleagues. Portfolios were not announced till the time of filing of this report.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expanded his Council of Ministers for the second time since 2014. The 19 new ministers are from 10 states, with a special focus on the coming Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The new ministers come from UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Assam.
In a related development, five ministers have tendered their resignation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They are Nihalchand, Ram Shankar Katheria, Sanwar Lal Jat, Manuskhbhai D Vasva and MK Kundariya.
The first expansion of the Narendra Modi Cabinet took place in November 2014, which saw a few changes, including the induction of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Meanwhile, Rajen Gohain reacting to his induction into Modi�s Council of Ministers thanked those who have been supporting him all these years through thick and thin, and for electing him to represent them in the Parliament. �It is a historic day for the people of Nagaon and I promise to fulfil my duties with utmost sincerity and dedication,� he said.
�All the developmental issues related to Assam will be on my priority list with setting up of the AIIMS at Raha being the first,� he added.
�I would like to thank the Prime Minister for giving me the opportunity and keeping faith on me to serve my nation to the best of my capabilities,� he said.
Later, after attending a high tea hosted by the Prime Minister in honour of the newly inducted ministers, Gohain told this newspaper that his responsibility has increased manifold. �I will have to work for people not only belonging to my Lok Sabha constituency but entire Assam,� he said.
�As there is a BJP-led government in Assam, my job should be little easier and I propose to work in tandem with the State Government. If we work together then our job would be easier,� he said.
Born on November 26, 1950, Gohain was first elected to Lok Sabha from Nagaon in 1999. A founder member of the BJP, Gohain was educated at Gauhati University and graduated with BA and LLB degrees. He married Rita Gohain in 1981 and is father to five children. Gohain is a tea planter by profession.
A four-time MP of Lok Sabha, Gohain was re-elected from Nagaon in 2004, 2009 and 2014. Gohain has been a member of the BJP since 1991 and has also served as its State president.
Meanwhile, the other aspirant from Assam for a ministerial berth, Ramen Deka was upset on being left out of the Cabinet expansion.
Sources close to him disclosed that Deka soon after learning about the ministry expansion contacted RSS functionaries and after prolonged deliberation, he was summoned to Delhi last evening. Deka reportedly had a late night meeting with party general secretary in-charge for Assam, Ram Madhav. However, what transpired at the meeting was not known.