By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Sept 16: Twelve of the thirteen newly-appointed parliamentary secretaries were today administered the oath of office and secrecy by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
MLA Arun Phukan is out of the state on an official tour and so he could not take oath today at the function held at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakhetra here.
Gogoi had appointed the thirteen parliamentary secretaries - Susanta Borgohain, Arun Phukan, Aroti Kachari, Monika Bora, Rupjyoti Kurmi, Ghashyam Kalita, Habul Chakraborty, Dr. Rumi th, Hemanta Talukdar, Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha, Jamaluddin Ahmed, Sivsaran Basumatary and SR Subba - in an apparent bid to placate the disgruntlement within the party. The CM, however, rejected the notion and claimed that the move was initiated because "work-load of the government was increasing". "In 2001, we had 35 ministers. The number of ministers was downsized by a constitutiol amendment in 2003. We want to give responsibilities to these legislators to lessen the work-load on the government," Gogoi said.
When pointed out that earlier parliamentary secretaries had complained of not been given work, Gogoi said he has instructed the minister to allot work to them. "The parliamentary secretaries will report to me directly now," he said.
To a query why he appointed most of the MLAs who had earlier sided with Himanta Biswa Sarma, Gogoi retorted, "They are Congress men and so they did not leave the party like Himanta."