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Reshuffle in UPA-II govt.
New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS):
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Published on 20 Jan. 2011 1:21 AM IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday carried out a much anticipated shuffle of his ministerial pack by elevating three junior ministers to cabinet rank and bringing in three new ministers of state in an exercise meant to shore up the image of his 19-month-old government buffeted by corruption scandals and charges of non-performance.
However, the changes were restricted largely to his Congress party and did not include any from his allies that form part of his United Progressive Alliance (UPA), other than the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
There were also no changes in his core team - Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.
No minister was dropped, but some, like Murli Deora (corporate affairs) and M.S. Gill (statistics and programme implementation), were obviously downgraded. Deora and Gill earlier held the petroleum and natural gas and the sports and youth affairs ministries, respectively.
President Pratibha Patil administered the oaths of office and secrecy to the new ministers at the Ashoka Hall in Rastrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace. With this, UPA will have 78 ministers - 34 cabinet ministers and 43 ministers of state.
The first expansion of the UPA II government
Cabinet Ministers: Praful Patel: Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Sriprakash Jaiswal: Coal, Salman Khursheed: Water Resources and additional charge of Minority Affairs
Minister of State (Independent Charge): Ajay Maken: Youth Affairs & Sports, Beni Prasad Verma: Steel, K.V. Thomas: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
Ministers of State: Ashwani Kumar: Planning & Parliamentary Affairs, Science & Technology, and Earth Sciences, K.C. Venugopal: Power
The portfolios of the following ministers have also been changed
Cabinet Ministers: Sharad Pawar: Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, Virbhadra Singh: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Vilasrao Deshmukh: Rural Development and additional charge of Panchayati Raj, S. Jaipal Reddy: Petroleum and Natural Gas, Kamal Nath: Urban Development, Vayalar Ravi: Overseas Indian Affairs and additional charge of Civil Aviation, Murli Deora: Corporate Affairs, Kapil Sibal: Human Resource Development and additional charge of Communications and Information Technology, B.K. Handique: Development of North-Eastern Region, C.P. Joshi: Road Transport and Highways, Kumari Selja: Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and additional charge of Culture, Subodh Kant Sahay: Tourism, M.S. Gill: Statistics and Programme Implementation, Pawan Kumar Bansal : Parliamentary Affairs and additional charge of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences
Minister of State (Independent Charge): Dinsha Patel: Mines
Ministers of State: E. Ahamed: External Affairs, Harish Rawat: Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, V. Narayanasamy: Parliamentary Affairs and Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Prime Minister’s Office, Gurudas Kamat: Home Affairs, A. Sai Prathap: Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Bharatsinh Solanki: Railways, Jitin Prasada: Road Transport and Highways, Mahadev S. Khandela: Tribal Affairs, R.P.N. Singh: Petroleum and Natural Gas and Corporate Affairs, Tusharbhai Chaudhary: Road Transport and Highways, Arun Yadav: Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, Pratik Prakashbapu Patil: Coal, Vincent Pala: Water Resources and Minority Affairs.
Another cabinet expansion after budget: Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said he planned another expansion of the cabinet after the budget session of parliament this year.
Describing Wednesday’s reshuffle effected by him as “minor”, Singh indicated that the next cabinet expansion can be expected in about three months from now, sometime in April.
“This is a minor reshuffle. There will be an expansion of the cabinet after the budget session (of parliament),” he said in an interaction with reporters after the swearing-in of three new ministers in his government.

 
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