Sonowal, Rijiju keep Cabinet berths; RS MP Pabitra Margherita inducted as MoS

BY | Monday, 10 June, 2024

Three from Northeast were inducted into the new Union Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is now the only second prime minister in the history of India to be sworn in as to the office for three consecutive terms.

Sarbananda Sonowal and Arunachal Pradesh’s four-time MP, Kiren Rijiju, have been retained as Union Ministers while Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, Pabitra Margherita, was sworn in as Minister of State. All three are from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Sonowal is the first chief minister of Assam (2016-21) from the BJP. Before that he served as the Minister of State (Independent) of Youth Affairs and Sports (2014-2016). The 61-year-old was the Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, and of AYUSH in the previous Government (2021-2024).

Kiren Rijiju, who is arguably the most popular politician from the Northeast in the present day, has also secured a Cabinet berth after being elected MP for the fourth time from Arunachal West seat. Rijiju served as Union Minister of State for Home Affairs (2014-19), Minister of State for Minority Affairs (2019-21), Minister of State (Independent) of Youth Affairs and Sports (2019-21), and Law Minister (2021-23). The 52-year-old was serving as the Minister of Earth Sciences and Minister of Food Processing Industries (2023-24) when the previous government was dissolved.

Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, Pabitra Margherita, has also been sworn in as Minister of State in Sunday’s ceremony. He is the Spokesperson of Assam BJP and also the political secretary of the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh from Manipur and Pratima Bhoumik from Tripura, both of whom held MoS portfolios in the Modi 2.0 government have been dropped.

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