Sonowal retains his Ports portfolio, Kiren Rijiju shifted to Parliamentary and Minority Affairs

New Delhi/Guwahati, June 11 Union Minister from Assam Sarbananda Sonowal retained his existing charge of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways while Arunachal Pradesh's Kiren Rijiju has been shifted to Parliamentary Affairs and Minority Affairs in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's third government, as per the portfolios allocated on Monday.

BJP's Rajya Sabha member from Assam Pabitra Margherita, who also took oath on Sunday to become a first-time Union Minister, has been made Minister of State for External Affairs and Textiles.

They are the three MPs from the northeastern states in the new government headed by Prime Minister Modi against five in the previous government.

Sonowal won from Dibrugarh for the second time and Rijiju was elected from Arunachal West Lok Sabha constituency for the fourth time.

In the previous PM Modi government, Sonowal, apart from Ports, Shipping and Waterways, was AYUSH Minister and Rijiju the Minister of Earth Sciences and Food Processing Industries, after previously being the Law Minister.

As the BJP and its ally Naga People’s Front lost both the Lok Sabha seats in Manipur to the Congress, the state remained unrepresented in the Union Council of Ministry this time. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh from Manipur served as Minister of State for External Affairs and Education in the second Modi government.

BJP's Biplab Kumar Deb and Kriti Devi Debbarman won from Tripura West and Tripura East Lok Sabha seats, respectively, but none of them have been accommodated in the Union Ministry. Pratima Bhoumik from Tripura served as Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment. She did not contest the Lok Sabha elections this time.

Of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in eight northeastern states, the BJP won nine seats in Assam, two each in Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh, while its allies United People's Liberal Party and Asom Gana Parishad in Assam, and the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) in Sikkim secured one seat each. Apart from Manipur, the Congress won one seat each in Nagaland and Meghalaya from the BJP and its allies, besides winning three in Assam. The ruling Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and the little-known Voice of the People Party (VOTPP) party secured one seat each in Mizoram and Meghalaya, respectively.

Source: IANS

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