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Pabitra Margherita, The Surprise Addition From Assam To PM Modi’s Cabinet


Sarbananda Sonowal and Kiren Rijiju’s return to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre was more or less expected when President Droupadi Murmu administered the Oath of Office and Secrecy to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other members of the Union Council of Ministers on Sunday. However, what came as a surprise from the Northeast was the name of Rajya Sabha MP Pabitra Margherita.

While former Assam chief minister Sonowal and four-time MP from Arunachal West Kiren Rijiju have taken oath as the Cabinet Ministers, Pabitra Margherita from Assam was sworn in as the Minister of State (MoS).

Who is Pabitra Margherita?

1. Pabitra Margherita belongs to the industrial town of Margherita in the Tinsukia district of eastern Assam. While his real name is ‘Pabitra Gogoi,’ he uses the town’s name (Margherita) as his surname. He comes from the Ahom community. 

2. During the initial phase of his career, the 49-year-old served as the editor of two cultural magazines. A cultural activist and filmmaker, he, then, went on to produce several Assamese feature and short films. Some of his best-known works include the Junbai series of short films as well as the feature film Mon Jaai. He is married to popular Assamese actor Gayatri Mahanta.

3. In 2014, he ventured into politics with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Over the last several years, he served various roles, including that of the spokesperson for the Assam unit of the BJP and the political secretary to Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Besides this, he has also been the zila prabhari (district in-charge) and the head of the BJP’s social media cell in Assam.

4. He was elected as a Rajya Sabha member from Assam in 2022. According to reports, Mr Margherita’s induction into the Union Cabinet is aimed at countering Congress’ perceived resurgence in eastern Assam. Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi last week secured a victory from the Jorhat seat, defeating BJP’s Topon Kumar Gogoi by 1,44,393 votes.

5. Along with his political roles, Mr Margherita was the chairman of the Jyoti Chitraban Film Studio of the Assam government from 2017 to 2021. He also held the position of member secretary of the state-level advisory committee for students and youth welfare between November 2021 and March 2022.

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