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The performance and challenges of Manmohan's new team

The Manmohan Singh government on Saturday announced the names of some of its key ministers and their portfolios. Here are the brief profiles of the ministers along with the challenges they will face in the new UPA government.

delhi Updated: May 23, 2009 17:14 IST

The Manmohan Singh government on Saturday announced the names of some of its key ministers and their portfolios. Here are the brief profiles of the ministers along with the challenges they will face in the new UPA government.

Sharad Pawar - Agriculture and Food minister

Sharad Pawar is known as the oldest horse of Indian politics, whose political intelligence is known to all the parties.

Achievements/ Challenges

Pawar has been credited with implementing the National Food Security Mission, which aims at increasing the production of wheat, rice and pulses.
He tried develop integrated approach towards agriculture. For this purpose, he called the meeting of National Development Council in 2008.
He implemented ban on the futures trading of essential commodities.

Pranab Mukherjee - Finance Minister

Pranab Mukherjee has been in the cabinet from the time of Indira Gandhi.

Achievements/ Challenges

In his last tenure, he acted as trouble shooter for the UPA government. He has good relations with the Left parties. He has rich experience of finance Ministry as well as national politics and administration.

A K Antony - Defence Minister

A K Antony is known for his clean image in the party.

Achievements/ Challenges

He worked for the betterment of the Armed Forces.

P Chidambaram - Home Minister

P Chidambaram is known as a no-nonsense man and a tough administrator.

Achievements/ Challenges

As Finance Minister in his last term, he presented Budget that helped the economy grow at more than 8.5 per cent for five years, till the end of financial year 2007-08.
In order to give a boost to the agriculture sector, Chidambaram announced the scheme of Debt Waiver and Debt Relief for farmers.
Earlier, in the Rajiv Gandhi cabinet, he made his mark as minister of state for internal security.
As home minister he has to protect the country from external and internal threats which are much larger today than it was in the past.

S M Krishna - External Affairs Minister

Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna or S M Krishna was the Chief Minister of Karnataka from 1999 to 2004 and Governor of Maharashtra from 2004 to 2008. He was Union Minister of State for Industry during 1983-1984 and Union Minister of State for Finance during 1984-1985.
As external affairs minister his most important challenge at present is dealing with the neighbours especially Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Mamata Banerjee - Railway Minister

Mamata Banerjee is known for tumbling Communist Party's fort in West Bengal. Mamata established herself as a clever politician while working in Youth Congress and NSUI. She was the Railway minister in the year 2000 during the NDA government's tenure. Banerjee came in the limelight, especially due to her agitation in Nandigram and Singur against allotment of farmers' land to companies. Tata had to move its Nano car plant from Bengal due to strong protests led by Mamata Banerjee.
Mamta's challenge at present is to keep up the good work of last Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.