Ministry expansion issue
GUWAHATI, April 27: The 23-month old Sonowal Cabinet’s first expansion and reshuffling of the ministerial portfolios have led to criticism from both within and outside the party claimants and its allies. More categorically, various organizations affiliated to their respective communities are expressing anger and resorting to bandh call. Adding to the growing discontent, the All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union (AAGSU) has also served a 72-hour-ultimatum to the Chief Minister on Friday demanding a ministerial berth from the Gorkha legislators, failing which they have threatened to dump the BJP in the next election.
Addressing the media at Dispur press club, the general secretary of the AAGSU, Sanjib Chetry condemned the attitude of the Sonowal Government stating that the exclusion of the Gorkha representatives in the expanded ministry is quite unfortunate and a great betrayal. Revealing that the AAGSU also played a pivotal role in the last Assembly election to ensure the formation of the present government to usher change, Chetry stated that the BJP had also committed to work for the welfare of the Gorkhas in its election manifesto. However, Chetry alleged that the community is being betrayed by the Sonowal-led government on all fronts. He informed that on several occasions, the AAGSU has visited and submitted memoranda expressing their grievances to the Chief Minister, but all in vain. “Be it in the ministry, various development directorates or the State Budget, the apathy towards the Gorkhas by the BJP-led State Government is quite unfortunate and condemnable,” said Chetry. “Since the first post independence Assembly election till 2016, there were instances of including community representatives in various prestigious positions like the Assembly Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Cabinet berths and the like on the numerical strength of the community. Paying no heed to such state of affairs, deprivation of the Gorkha legislators on all fronts is an insult to the Gorkha community,” Chetry added.