PM okays Cabinet reshuffle
Manmohan Singh has decided to retain the key External Affairs portfolio. The Coal portfolio would go back to JMM chief Shibu Soren. Mani Shankar Aiyar has been relieved of the key petroleum ministry which would go to Maharashtra Cong leader Murli Deora.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will retain the key External Affairs ministry portfolio and the Coal portfolio will go back to JMM chief Shibu Soren in the expansion and reshuffle of the Union Cabinet on Sunday.
Andhra Pradesh Governor Sushil Kumar Shinde will be the new Power minister and former Maharasthra Chief Minister AR Antulay will take charge of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Prime Minister's Media Adviser Sanjaya Baru announced late night.
The oaths of secrecy and office are being administered by President APJ Abdul Kalam at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.
Mani Shankar Aiyar has been relieved of the key petroleum ministry which will go to Maharashtra Congress leader Murli Deora. Aiyar will retain the ministry of Panchayati Raj. He also has Youth Affairs and Sports now held by Oscar Fernandes.
Kerala strongman Vyalar Ravi will be the new minister for Overseas Indian Affairs while Ambika Soni, Congress General Secretary, will head the ministry of Tourism and Culture.
Saifuddin Soz, a minister in the United Front government in mid 90s, will look after water resources.
Santosh Mohan Dev who heads the Heavy Industries Ministry and PC Gupta heading Ministry of Company Affairs have been elevated to cabinet rank and will retain their earlier portfolios.
GK Vassan, TNCC president and son of late Congress veteran GK Moopanar, will be Minister of State with independent charge of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation while Renuka Chowdhury has been shifted from tourism to women and child development.
Oscar Fernades, who was looking after Youth affairs and Sports ministry as also holding additional charge of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, will be minister (independent charge) without portfolio.
Bringing young blood into the council of ministers, Singh has made Congress spokesman Anand Sharma as a minister of state in the External Affairs ministry while Congress MP from Chandigarh Pawan Kumar Bansal will be MoS Finance.
Rao Inderjit Singh has been moved as Minister of State from External Affairs ministry to Defence.