Chidambaram is FM, Shivraj Patil gets Home Ministry
The Union Cabinet finalised allocation of portfolios after a meeting late on Sunday. There were a few surprises in the list. Chidambaram got FM's post, while Patil got home and Pranab Defence.
The Union Cabinet finalised allocation of portfolios after a meeting late on Sunday. The list was sent to the President for approval.
There were a few surprises in the list.
Manmohan Singh, who was expected to retain the finance portfolio, has chosen P Chidambaram for the post. Shivraj Patil got the home portfolio, benefiting from the rivalry between Pranab Mukherjee and Arjun Singh. Mukherjee got defence, with Singh succeeding in blocking his elevation to the second place in the ministry.
The 14th Lok Sabha will now convene for a nine-day session on June 2. The Speaker will be elected on June 4 and President APJ Abdul Kalam will address a joint session of Parliament on June 7.
These decisions were passed at a Cabinet meeting on Sunday and conveyed to Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) chairperson Sonia Gandhi met senior Congress leaders, among whom were Mukherjee, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni and R.K. Dhavan, during the day to discuss several issues.
Apart from the allocation of portfolios, the meeting discussed the time-table for legislative and executive business for the next few days and the issues to be taken up by the Cabinet.
The final touches to the United Progressive Alliance's common minimum programme (CMP) were being given at various meetings through the day and the security situation was also being discussed.
A co-ordination committee of the alliance, likely to be headed by Sonia, will take a final view on the CMP at a meeting convened for May 26, and a formal announcement will made the next day. Sunday's dinner meeting of the committee, which finalised the allocation of portfolios, discussed the CMP and finalised the time-table.
The Left, meanwhile, has raised several issues that it wants to be included in the CMP, with which it is in broad agreement. Among them are the Women's Reservation Bill, the status of non-Navaratna PSUs, a Bill for agriculture and labour law reforms with a focus on the unorganised sector. The CPI(M) Politburo will meet on Tuesday to discuss the CMP and take a view on accepting the Speaker's post, which was offered to senior party leader Somnath Chatterjee.
Though the allies seem to have been more or less taken along in the process of forming the government, there were signs of a revolt within the Congress itself.
Andhra leader N. Janardhan Reddy was reportedly contemplating resigning his Lok Sabha membership because he was not given a ministry. His wife, a member of the new state Cabinet, has also reportedly resigned. (With agency inputs)
LIST OF THE PORTFOLIOS:
Following is the allocation of portfolios of the Council of Ministers:
Shivraj Patil - Home
P Chidambaram - Finance
Pranab Mukherjee - Defence
Laloo Prasad - Railways
Arjun Singh - Human Resource Development
Sharad Pawar - Agriculture, Food & Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs And Public Distribution
Ram Vilas Paswan - Chemicals and Fertilisers,Steel
Ghulam Nabi Azad - Parliamentary Affairs, Urban Development
S Jaipal Reddy - Information and Broadcasting, Culture
Sis Ram Ola - Labour and Employment
Mahavir Prasad - Small Scale, Agro and Rural
P R Kyndiah - Tribal Affairs, Development of North-East
T R Baalu - Road Transport and Highways
S Vaghela - Textiles
Natwar Singh - External Affairs
Kamal Nath - Commerce and Industry
H R Bhardwaj - Law and Justice
P M Sayeed - Power
Raghuvansh Prasad Singh - Rural Development
P R Dashmunsi - Water Resources
Mani Shankar Aiyar - Petroleum & Natural Gas, Panchayati Raj
Sunil Dutt - Youth Affairs and Sports
Shibu Soren - Coal, Minies and Minerals
A Raja - Environment and Forest
Dayanidhi Maran - Communication and IT
Meira Kumar - Social Justice and Empowerment
K Chandra Shekar Rao- Shipping.
Anbumani Ramdoss - Health and Family Welfare
MINISTERS OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE)
Santosh Mohan Deb - Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
Jagdish Tytler - Non-Resident Affairs
Oscar Fernandes - Statistics and Programme Implementation
Renuka Choudhury - Tourism
Subodh Kant Sahai - Food Processing
Kapil Sibal - Science and Technology, Ocean Development
Vilas Muttemwar - Non-Conventional Energy Sources
Kumari Selja - Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation
Praful Patel - Civil Aviation
Premchand Gupta - Company Affairs
MINISTERS OF STATE
E Ahmed - External Affairs
Suresh Pachauri - Personnel, Parliamentary Affairs
B K Handique - Defence, Parliamentary Affairs
P Lakshmi - Health and Family Welfare
Dasari Narayan Rao - Coal and Mines
Shaqeel Ahmed - Communications & IT
Rao Indrajit Singh - External Affairs
Naranbhai Rathwa - Railways
Rehman Khan - Chemicals and fertilizers
K H Muniappa - Road Transport and Highways
M V Rajashekharan - Planning
Kantilal Bhuria - Agriculture, Food and Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution
Manik Rao Gavit - Home Affairs
Sri Prakash Jaiswal - Home Affairs
Prithviraj Chavan - Prime Ministers Office
Taslimuddin - Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
Suryakanta Patil - Rural Development, Parliamentary Affairs
Md A A Fatmi - HRD
A Narendra - Rural Development
R Velu - Railways
S S Palanimanikkam - Commerce and Industry
S Regupathy - Home Affairs