Krishna gets External Affairs, Mamata Railways
SM Krishna was on Saturday made the new External Affairs Minister and Mamata Banerjee given Railways in partial allocation of portfolios by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has retained veterans Pranab Mukherjee and P Chidambaram in Finance and Home Ministries respectively.
AK Antony stays in Defence and Sharad Pawar Agriculture Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, portfolios they had handled in the previous UPA government.
Singh, who had taken 19 ministers in his new Cabinet, had told reporters at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Friday that portfolio distribution would take two-three days.
However, surprisingly the limited allocation of portfolios was announced by the Rashtrapati Bhawan today on the advice of the Prime Minister, who preferred to get down to business and distributed ministries on which there are apparently no no differences.
Portfolios for Ministers including Kamal Nath, Kapil Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jaipal Reddy, Anand Sharma and new entrants like Veerappa Moily and C P Joshi are yet to be announced.
These ministers may get their portfolios once the likely expansion of the Union Council of Ministers takes place on Tuesday as expected. So far only six portfolios have been distributed.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi today issued a statement welcoming the Prime Minister's statement on two of his party leaders -TR Baalu and A Raja - and there are signs that the party may accept the Congress offer of portfolios by Tuesday.
The party may get three portfolios of Cabinet rank for Dayanidhi Maran, Raja and Baalu and two Ministers of State rank for Karunanidhi's son M K Azhagiri and daughter Kanimozhi. The party may also get two more Ministers of State.