3 from Northeast named, new face Pabitra Margherita a surprise pick in Modi 3.0

In 2019, four from the Northeast were inducted – Rameswar Teli (Assam) and Pratima Bhoumik (Tripura) being the two others.
Pabitra Margherita
Pabitra Margherita

GUWAHATI: Three BJP leaders from the Northeast were inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre on Sunday.

The three are Sarbananda Sonowal and Kiren Rijiju, both Cabinet ministers in the outgoing government, and Rajya Sabha member Pabitra Margherita, a new face. In 2019, four from the Northeast were inducted – Rameswar Teli (Assam) and Pratima Bhoumik (Tripura) being the two others.

Sonowal and Margherita are from Assam while Rijiju is from Arunachal Pradesh. The NDA had bagged 16 of the Northeast’s 25 parliamentary seats with the BJP alone accounting for 13 – nine in Assam and two each in Arunachal and Tripura. The party rules the three states.

Kiren Rijiju, Sarbananda Sonowal
Kiren Rijiju, Sarbananda Sonowal

While the induction of seasoned politicians Sonowal, who is also a former chief minister, and Rijiju were on expected lines, Margherita was a surprise choice. His original name is Pabitra Gogoi. He uses the name of native town – Margherita in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district – as his surname.

Margherita was a cultural activist before joining politics in 2014. He was elected as a Rajya Sabha member in 2022 and is also the political secretary to CM Himanta Biswa Sarma.

According to observers, by inducting Margherita into the ministry, the BJP is pitting an Ahom against another Ahom – three-time Lok Sabha member Gaurav Gogoi who was elected from Jorhat this election. Jorhat, Dibrugarh and a portion of Kaziranga constituencies make up upper Assam and with large number of Ahom voters.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com