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Guwahati Development Department Minister Ashok Singhal

Guwahati: A day after a major reshuffle in the Assam Cabinet, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Friday said that Guwahati Development Department (GDD) is vested on minister Ashok Singhal.

The GDD is a part of Housing and Urban Affairs department, which continues to be with Singhal, the CMO said in a statement. The Urban Development Department and the GDD are currently placed together under the Housing and Urban Affairs Department, it added.

Previously, the GDD was a separate department under the state government. Besides the Housing and Urban Affairs department, Singhal also holds the irrigation department, with no change in his portfolios following Thursday’s reshuffle.

A month after completion of one year in office, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had carried out expansion and reshuffle of his Cabinet on Thursday. The new entrants, BJP MLAs Nandita Garlosa and Jayanta Malla Baruah, were assigned cabinet portfolios by re-calibrating the portfolio allotments among the existing ministers.

With the two new inductees, the BJP-led Assam government at present has 16 cabinet ministers but there is no one as minister of state.

As per the 91st amendment of the Constitution in 2003, the total number of ministers, including the chief minister, in a state should not exceed 15 per cent of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly. As the Assam Assembly has a strength of 126 MLAs, a maximum of 19 ministers can function at a time.

Also read: Assam CM expands cabinet, reshuffles portfolios

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