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Performance only yardstick for Team Sonowal now

Sonowal expands his ministry

Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, April 26: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is in for the real acid test now as he has got an almost full team. Over the past one year and 11 months, he had to work with an 11-member team in the 19-member ministry. Even if his government fell short of living up to people’s expectations in the past two years, there was enough ground for the too slim ministry to underperform.
With the expansion of his ministry on Thursday through the induction of seven members into it, Sonowal attained almost full strength, just one member short of the total strength of 19. Now on, he and his team are under the glare of all eyes. When Sonowal took oath on May 24, 2016, the people of the State had high expectations from him, the BJP and its coalition partners. They were eagerly waiting for a change in true sense of the term in the State, putting an end to a corrupt regime. This is one of the reasons why the voters of the State did lend their unstinted support to the BJP-led alliance. With only three years to go for this term of the BJP-led Government at Dispur, people of the State, in all likelihood, are not going to be lenient to this government in the event of its underperformance now on. Expectations of the people of the State from this government are the highest ever now. Will Sonowal and his team rise to the occasion to live up to people’s expectations?
The government has three priorities as unfinished agenda – making Assam free from Bangladeshis, free from corruption and free from pollution. Dispur has all such issues to tackle under the watchful glare of the people of the State. Figuratively speaking, this is the real acid test for Sonowal and his team. He has to come out triumphant if he is to play a long political innings. The same ground applies to the BJP as well.
Meanwhile, seven legislators took oath as ministers at Raj Bhawan here on Thursday. While four were sworn in as Cabinet ministers, the other three were inducted as ministers of State. Barring Chandan Brahma, the other six took their oath in Assamese. Brahma took his oath in Bodo. Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi administered the oath of office and secrecy.
Talking to the media after taking oath, Phani Bhushan Choudhury, who made it to the State Assembly seven times in a row from Bongaigaon LAC since 1985, said: “Since people’s expectation on this government is quite high, we need to be more responsible. Only a team work can make this really happen.”
Sharing his feelings with the media, Siddhartha Bhattachaya said: “This is a milestone in my political career. I’ll try my best to use it properly through hard work. I’ve miles to go.”
Chandan Brahma said: “I’m ready to perform whatever responsibility the Chief Minister entrusts me. Challenges are bound to be there since people’s expectations on this government are very high.”
Sum Ronghang said that he would work hard to live up to people’s expectations.
The other three who took oath as ministers of State (MoS) are Jagiroad MLA Piyush Hazarika, Sonari MLA Tapan Kumar Gogoi and Rangiya MLA Bhabesh Kalita – all from the BJP. Topon Kumar Gogoi was the former general secretary of the All Assam Students’ Union.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and BTC CEM Hagrama Mohilary were present at the swearing-in-ceremony, besides many MLAs, ministers and top bureaucrats.