AGARTALA: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Tuesday expanded his eight-member cabinet for the first time since the BJP-IPFT government came to power by inducting three new faces.

With the induction of the three new ministers – Ramprasad Paul, Bhagaban Das and Sushanta Chowdhury – the total size of the cabinet has risen to 11.

Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Durbar hall of the Rajbhavan here.

The three new ministers are yet to be allocated their portfolios.

Ramprasad Paul (50) and Bhagaban Das (47) have passed class eight, while Sushanta Chowdhury (41) is a postgraduate, officials said.

The decision of cabinet expansion was taken at a meeting of the BJP core committee on Monday night following several rounds of discussions in the presence of the party’s central leadership.

A host of BJP leaders including party national secretary Dilip Saikia, its north east zonal secretary (organization) Ajay Jamwal, Tripura unit prabhari Vinod Sonkar and general secretary (organization) Phanindranath Sarma arrived in Tripura on Monday on a four-day trip to strengthen the party’s organizational base and attended the core committee meeting.

Deb and union minister Pratima Bhowmik were present.

The ten ministers in Deb’s cabinet are Jishnu Dev Verma (deputy chief minister), N C Debbarma (revenue), Ratanlal Nath (education), Pranajit Singha Roy (agriculture), Manoj Kanti Deb (PDS), Mevar Mumar Jamatia (tribal welfare) and Santana Chakma (social empowerment) and the newly inducted Ramprasad Paul, Bhagaban Das and Sushanta Chowdhury.

As per norms Tripura can have a maximum of 12 ministers.