Assam Cabinet swearing-in postponed till Friday
The rescheduling has led to speculation that several legislators not included in the list were threatening to revolt.india Updated: May 18, 2006 13:35 IST
The swearing-in ceremony of Assam's new council of ministers has been postponed to Friday, leading to speculation that several senior legislators who had not been included in the list were threatening to revolt.
However, no official reasons were cited for the rescheduling.
"The swearing-in function is now likely to take place on Friday afternoon," a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.
It was earlier announced that the cabinet expansion would take place at 4 pm on Thursday. Eighteen legislators were supposed to have been inducted in the Congress-led council of ministers.
"There is no revolt as such, but there were minor differences and hence the swearing-in was postponed until Friday," a senior Congress leader said requesting anonymity.
Gogoi, sworn in as chief minister on Sunday, has been camping in New Delhi to finalise the list of his new council of ministers. The Congress president was said to have given her nod to the list late Wednesday.
Gogoi is expected to reach Guwahati later on Thursday.
Although the names of the legislators finding a berth in the cabinet was not disclosed, it was almost certain that three from the Bodo People's Progressive Front (BPPF), an ally of the Congress, were in the list of ministers approved by Gandhi.
Among those expected to be included in the list is Chandan Brahma, the former second-in-command of the outlawed Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) that is now the Bodo People's Progressive Front (BPPF), which supported the Congress in the elections.
"We want peace and development in the region," Brahma said, refusing to admit if he was part of the Gogoi-led cabinet.
The now disbanded BLT was noted for blowing up trains, including one in 1999 that killed 33 passengers. But it signed a peace deal in 2003 with New Delhi and joined mainstream politics, forming the BPPF.
"We are not hankering after ministerial berths in the government and instead want that all pending legal cases against former BLT cadres be withdrawn and our boys (surrendered rebels) rehabilitated as soon as possible," BPPF chairperson and former chief of the BLT Hagrama Mohilary said.
Earlier, the BPPF leader had said that the party wanted "at least three cabinet berths and a junior ministership" in exchange for its support.