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BJP critical of Chidambaram, Sibal retention

delhi Updated: Jul 12, 2011 20:40 IST
New Delhi

BJP on Tuesday slammed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for not removing "tainted" ministers like P Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal in the Cabinet reshuffle carried out "without much thought and consideration".

"Normally a Cabinet reshuffle is undertaken to assess performance of ministers and to correct imbalance amongst states and alliance partners.... The reshuffle has been done without much thought and consideration," leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter.

She said that instead of removing Sibal, whom the BJP had accused of favouring Reliance Communications by reducing the penalty from Rs 50 crore to Rs 5 crore, the Prime Minister has asked him to continue with the dual charge of Telecom and HRD.

"HRD and Telecom are both very important departments. After A Raja's ouster, Telecom was given as additional charge to the HRD minister temporarily. The Prime Minister has undermined the importance of these two departments. The temporary is now permanent," Swaraj said.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy described the reshuffle as a "damp squib" and insisted that the Prime Minister has failed to reassure the nation and dispel the "gloom shadowing the UPA government". "The Prime Minister's much acclaimed and awaited reshuffle has proven to be a damp squib. It is a futile exercise which inspires none and in no way dispels the gloom shadowing the embattled UPA government," Rudy told PTI.

Singh on Tuesday dropped five ministers and inducted 13 new faces into his council of ministers.

However, home minister P Chidambaram and telecom minister Kapil Sibal, whose removal BJP has been demanding, were left untouched.