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First day in office

delhi Updated: Jul 14, 2011 00:45 IST

Hindustan Times
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First to take charge

M Veerappa Moily, 71, was one of the first ministers to take charge in his new office of corporate affairs ministry at 9 AM sharp. He seemed to have left his previous night’s disappointment of being shifted out of the law ministry behind.

“I am very happy with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. If they have given me this charge they might had something in mind,” he said. In a lighter vein, Moily said he continues to be on the same floor.

“I like the new room and new friends. I will continue my reforms, the reformist within me cannot be suppressed.”

He came early to office

Salman Khursheed, 58, arrived to take charge in the new office before the scheduled time. In his first comments, Khursheed made it clear that the reforms agenda initiated by his predecessor, Moily, will continue.

“I spoke to him this morning and he was very cheerful,” he said. After meeting the top officials of the ministry, Khursheed replied to various queries from waiting reporters on major issues concerning his ministry – ranging from the resignation of the Solicitor General to the expected changes in the procedure for appointment of judges.

Was busy answering calls

Paban Singh Ghatowar, 61, said: “I will have to recharge the phone battery," a visibly Ghatowar said almost in a soliloquy as his mobile continued to bear the brunt of a never-ending barrage of mostly congratulatory calls.

“My prime focus will be to spur development in all the eight states despite issues of insurgency—Nagaland and Mizoram has shown it is possible,” said the newly-appointed minister of state (independent charge), Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).

Not an easy task given the spectre of insurgency in many states.

Science man takes it slow

Vilasrao Deshmukh, 66, the new science and technology minister did not take charge of his new assignment on Tuesday. Making his priorities clear, the former Maharashtra chief minister who was moved out of the rural development ministry, chose to stay in Mumbai.

Deshmukh is busy lobbying for votes ahead of polls for the post of president, Mumbai Cricket Association.

Science man takes it slow

Milind Deora, 34, began his maiden innings as a minister, and said he was looking forward to “doing something new with fresh ideas.” He is the second minister of state for information technology and communications after Sachin Pilot. “I am happy to have a friend and colleague Sachin Pilot. I will do well,” he said.