Assam gets first woman Finance Minister

Assam, May 11: Ajanta Neog, who was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister in the Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma-led government on Monday, has been allocated the Finance portfolio.

As a woman is the Finance Minister in the Centre, Assam also has a woman at the helm of affairs in the Finance Department in the State now.

An influential minister in the earlier Tarun Gogoi-led Congress governments, Neog had left the party to join the BJP last year.

She will also hold the Social Welfare department in the new government.

She has been representing the Golaghat Assembly seat consecutively for the past five terms since 2001. She also holds the record for being the second longest-serving Women legislator from Assam.

Currently, she is a member of the Bhartiya Janta Party which she joined in December 2020. After she resigned from her post as an MLA, she was expelled from Indian National Congress for her alleged “anti-party” activities.

She first entered the assembly in the 2001 elections by defeating her nearest rival by over 10000 votes. She was again victorious in the subsequent election held in 2006. In the 2011 assembly elections she won by a huge margin of 46171 votes.

Also Read: BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma takes oath as Chief Minister of Assam

Consecutively she won the 2016 assembly elections despite a ‘BJP Wave’ in upper Assam where a vast majority of the Congress candidates were defeated. She held the position of Minister for the Public Works Department (Roads & Building, NH), Urban Development & Housing, and had been in the last three Cabinets. She was conferred with the Golaghat Ratna award by the united chamber of commerce, golaghat.

During her tenure as the PWD minister, Assam achieved huge success in infrastructure development. Assam has adjudged the best State in Infrastructure Development because it had registered a 17 per cent increase in the length of pucca road from 2011 to 2013–14, whereas the National average for the same period was four per cent.