NEW DELHI, Aug 5 - The Sarbananda Sonowal Cabinet is likely to be expanded soon, with BJP president Amit Shah already clearing the proposal. The expanded Cabinet is also likely to see induction of a few members from BJP allies � AGP and BPF.
State Health and Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma�s statement to the media here this morning has put an end to all speculation about expansion of the Sonowal Cabinet.
The TV channels have since last evening been reporting that Sonowal would be meeting the BJP president and finalise the list of new ministers. However, the meeting did not take place as Sonowal had no appointment with Shah.
Sarma told newsmen here that the Central party leadership has already given its seal of approval to the new list of ministers. �Now everything is in the hands of the Chief Minister, who will expand his ministry according to his convenience,� he said.
�The list is in the hands of Sonowal, as the formality of getting it cleared from the Central leadership has already been completed,� Sarma, who had called on Shah along with six MLAs from Tripura, said.
It may be mentioned that Sonowal was under pressure from his own partymen and alliance partners to undertake a Cabinet expansion. While the Sonowal Cabinet has eight vacancies, he is likely to induct at least six ministers. While the AGP is demanding four berths, the BPF is demanding two.
The Chief Minister, who arrived in Delhi last evening, did not call on Shah as earlier reports indicated. He is likely to stay in Delhi until Tuesday and is expected to meet a few Central ministers too.
Sources in an alliance party told this newspaper that they had a heart-to-heart talk with the Chief Minister in Dispur recently and explained to him that they are under pressure from the aspirants that Sonowal should go for an expansion without any delay. �Sonowal indicated that he is willing to expand his ministry before the Independence Day,� sources said.
Meanwhile, party sources said that Sonowal has been advised to induct MLAs with clean image and he has also been told to keep the regional and community balance in mind. The Central leadership told him that special attention must be given on the utility of the minister, particularly in regard to 2019 Parliament elections.