M A I N   N E W S

Team in Place
Sibal gets HRD, Sharma Commerce
Kamal Nath handed over Road Transport, Deshmukh Heavy Industries
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

From the Region

New Delhi, May 28
Pawan Kumar Bansal, the newly-elected Lok Sabha member from Chandigarh, was today named as the Parliamentary Affairs Minister while Anand Sharma was appointed the Commerce and Industry Minister as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh allocated portfolios among his colleagues in the new Council of Ministers.

Veteran politician and five-time Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh will be the new Steel Minister while three-time Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdullah is the new Minister for New and Renewable Energy.

Ghulam Nabi Azad returns to the Union Cabinet as the Minister of Health and Family Welfare.

Ministers in haste

New Delhi: The swearing-in ceremony on Thursday saw some lighter moments as two ministers appeared to be in a hurry to take oath prompting President Pratibha Patil to say “wait, wait, wait”. V Narayanasamy and Saugat Roy started reading out from the oath paper without waiting for customary prompting by the President.

Advani, Left skip swearing-in

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader LK Advani and Left leaders were conspicuous by their absence at Rashtrapati Bhawan during the expansion of the Union Council of Ministers on Thursday.

One job at a time: Rahul

New Delhi: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday maintained that he did not want to take up ministership and preferred party work as he believed in doing one thing at a time. “I want to work for the party because I believe in doing one thing at a time. I do not believe in doing six jobs at one time.” — TNS

Kapil Sibal becomes the Human Resource Development Minister, replacing Congress veteran Arjun Singh, while MS Gill has been retained as the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports to continue overseeing the preparations for the Commonwealth Games 2010.

Ambika Soni has been given the Information and Broadcasting Ministry while Selja has been rewarded with two crucial portfolios -- Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Tourism.

Preneet Kaur, wife of Congress veteran and former Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, is the Minister of State for External Affairs along with former UN Under Secretary General Shashi Tharoor.

Earlier in the day, Manmohan Singh expanded his Council of Ministers by inducting 59 ministers- 14 of them for the Cabinet rank and 45 Ministers of State, seven of them with Independent charge.

With today’s expansion, the strength of the new UPA ministry has gone up to 79, including the PM.

While appointing the new ministers, the PM and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi have struck a fine balance in giving due weightage to regional and caste considerations, as also in accommodating the wishes and aspirations of partners of the ruling coalition like the DMK, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Trinamool Congress and the National Conference.

The other Cabinet Ministers with their portfolios are: Vilasrao Deshmukh-- Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Sushil Kumar Shinde-Power, M Veerapppa Moily-Law and Justice, S Jaipal Reddy-Urban Development, Kamal Nath-Road Transport and Highways, Vayalar Ravi- Overseas Indian Affairs, Meira Kumar -- Water Resources, Dayanidhi Maran-Textiles, A Raja- Communications and Information Technology, Murli Deora- Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mallikarjun Kharge- Labour and Employment, BK Handique- Mines and Development of North Eastern Region, C P Joshi- Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Subodh Kant Sahay- Food and Processing Industries, GK Vasan- Shipping, Mukul Wasnik- Social Justice and Empowernment, Kantrilal Bhuria- Tribal Affairs and MK Azhagiri- Chemicals and Fertilisers.

Pranab Mukherjee, AK Antony, SM Krishna, P Chidambaram, Sharad Pawar and Mamata Banerjee were named as Ministers for Finance, Defence, External Affairs, Home, Agriculture and Railways respectively on Saturday.

Among the Ministers of State with Independent charge, NCP’s Praful Patel retains the Civil Aviation Ministry while Sriprakash Jaiswal, who was the Minister of State for Home in the previous ministry, gets Coal and Statistics and Programme Implementation.

Prithviraj Chavan, who was the Minister of State in the PMO, is now having a whole lot of ministries against his name- Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Parliamentary Affairs. He is a trusted lieutenant of the PM.

Salman Khursheed gets Corporate affairs and Minority Affairs ministries, Dinsha J Patel — Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Krishna Tirath-Women and child Development and Jairam Ramesh-Environment and Forests.

The new Ministers of State with their respective portfolios are: Srikant Jena— Chemicals and Fertilisers, E.Ahamed- Railways, Mullappally Ramachandran— Home Affairs, V. Narayansamy— Planning and Parliamentary Affairs, Jyotiraditya Scindia— Commerce and Industry, D. Purandeswari— Human Resource Development, KH Muniyappa - Railways, Ajay Maken— Home Affairs, Panabaka Lakshmi- Textiles, Namo Narain Meena- Finance, MM Pallam Raju - Defence, Saugata Ray— Urban Development, SS Palanimanickam- Finance, Jitin Prasad— Petroleum and Natural Gas, A. Sai Prathap-Steel, Preneet Kaur— External Affairs, Gurdas Kamat— Communications and Information Technology, Harish Rawat— Labour and Employment, KV Thomas— Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Bharatsinh Solanki— Power, Mahadev S. Khandela—Road Transport and Highways, Dinesh Trivedi—Health and Family Welfare, Sisir Adhikari— Rural Development, Sultan Ahmed-Tourism, Mukul Roy-Shipping, Mohan Jatua— Information and Broadcasting, D. Napoleon— Social Justice and Empowerment, S. Jagathrakshakan— Information and Broadcasting, S. Gandhiselvan— Health and Family Welfare, Tusharbhai Chaudhary— Tribal Affairs, Sachin Pilot— Communications and Information Technology, Arun Yadav— Youth Affairs and Sports, Pratik Prakashbapu Patil— Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, R.P.N. Singh—Road Transport and Highways, Shashi Tharoor— External Affairs, Vincent Pala— Water Resources, Pradeep Jain—Rural Development, Agatha Sangma-Rural Development.



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