PM to hold culture portfolio
With no one in the 79-member council of ministers entrusted with the culture ministry, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be holding the portfolio, PMO officials said here Friday.
While Kumari Selja has been given the tourism ministry, the culture ministry was not allocated to anyone.
"The PM will hold the culture ministry," said a prime ministerial aide.
Selja, who is also heading the housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry, will be taking charge of the tourism ministry Saturday.
PMO officials said it was felt that Kumari Selja has to work in two big ministries and so was not given the culture ministry.
"It has never happened that the government has not allocated this portfolio. It has always been an important ministry," an official told IANS.
"It seems the government has forgotten about our ministry," said an official in the ministry on condition of anonymity.
Ambika Soni, who was earlier heading the tourism and culture ministry, has been promoted to cabinet minister and allocated the information and broadcasting ministry.
In the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government former Jammu and Kashmir governor Jagmohan headed the culture ministry. When the UPA government came to power in 2004, Jaipal Reddy took charge of the portfolio. He left it in 2006 when Soni was given charge.