Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has been keen to have Gandhi on board, said after the reshuffle that the Congress general secretary had other pre-occupations.
"I always wanted him in the government. But he has other preoccupations. He wants to strengthen the party, Singh told reporters.
Gandhi chose not to talk about his decision to stay out of the council of ministers or his future role in the party.
He, in fact, was quick to point to media speculation about him.
"You (the media) had even predicted that I am joining the government. You can continue to predict on my organisational role as well," he said. In the coming days, the Congress is expected to go in for a reshuffle.
After the swearing-in, Gandhi was seen chatting with young ministers such as Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora, RPN Singh and Jitin Prasada.
When asked about his "imprint" on the new-look cabinet, Gandhi joked: "I'm talking with my imprints."
In continuing with his plan to focus on party work, Gandhi leaves for Arunachal Pradesh on Monday as a part of his effort to understand organisational issues in the states.
Earlier, he visited Punjab, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir and interacted with local party leaders.
He will also visit poll-bound Himachal Pradesh later this month. The hill state goes to the polls on November 4.