Major reshuffle: three new ministers, three promoted to cabinet rankBy IANS
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
NEW DELHI - Three new cabinet ministers, all three elevated from minister of state rank, and three new ministers of state were Wednesday inducted in the 19-month-old United Progressive Alliance (UPA) II government as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh began an exercise to shore up the image of his ministry buffeted by corruption scandals and charges of non-performance.
President Pratibha Patil administered the oaths of office and secrecy to the new ministers at the Ashoka Hall in Rastrapati Bhavan. Salman Khursheed, Praful Patel and Shriprakash Jaiswal have been promoted as cabinet ministers.
Ashwani Kumar, K.C. Venugopal and Beni Prasad Berma are the new ministers of state sworn in.
No minister has been dropped from the cabinet.
In the large-scale reshuffle, Khursheed gets water resources with additional charge of minority affairs. Patel gets charge of heavy industries and public enterprises and Jaiswal retains his portfolio but got promoted because of his good work.
Vayalar Ravi, the overseas Indian affairs minister, gets additional charge of aviation, a possibly temporary responsibility, as another round of ministerial changes are expected after the presentation of the fiscal budget next month.
With this, the Manmohan Singh ministry will have 78 ministers - 34 cabinet ministers and 43 ministers of state
This is the first reshuffle of the UPA II government.
All the three new ministers are from the Congress. The allies will possibly get representation in the second round.