Chidambaram is FM, Shivraj Patil gets Home Ministry

PTI | By, New Delhi
May 29, 2004 07:07 PM IST

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.

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There were a few surprises in the list.

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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)


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


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


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

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