The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Portfolios add to heartburn
- Langthasa omission kindles protests

Guwahati/Nagaon, May 20: No sooner was the ministry announced than disgruntled allies, aides and foes turned the heat on Tarun Gogoi, who finished the first day of his second term as chief minister with finalising the portfolios.

Debojit Das, OSD to the chief minister, told The Telegraph that the list of portfolios was released at 8 pm today after the Raj Bhawan’s approval, ending days of suspense, first over ministerial berths and then over the allocation of portfolios.

The demand for a separate Dimasa state was revived with the exclusion of veteran Congress leader G.C. Langthasa and Diphu MLA Bidya Sing Engleng, with both Dimasas and Karbis smarting from the “raw deal”.

North Cachar Hills autonomous district council spokesman Nindu Langthasa today said a 50-member team representing 13 different tribes of the district would move Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on May 31 over “deprivation and neglect” of the Dimasas and press for immediate resolution of the “Dimaraji” homeland issue.

In Karbi Anglong, agitated Engleng loyalists observed a peaceful bandh to protest his exclusion.

Spurred by the simmering resentment both within the government and the Congress, the AGP and the BJP have “initiated” moves to reorganise the Opposition fold and wean over the BPPF (Hagrama) faction ' unhappy over non-allocation of the promised and “key” PWD portfolio ' to take another shot at Dispur.

The AUDF, snubbed royally, will be only too happy to play along.

Gogoi has so far resisted pressure to include the AUDF or the dissident leaders whom he holds responsible for the party missing a majority mandate in the polls.

“It has been a tough job and some resentment is unavoidable,” a senior leader said.

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