BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
New Delhi: The central cabinet, led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, today witnessed a major reshuffle with the inclusion of Jairam Ramesh and Dinesh Trivedi in the core team of the prime minister.
While Ramesh, who was the minister of state (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, has been elevated as the Minister of Rural Development, the Ministry of Railways has gone to Trinamool leader Dinesh Trivedi. In addition, Beni Prasad Verma and Kishore Chandra Deo have been included in the new cabinet, which has seen some new faces also. Verma has got the Ministry of Steel while Deo will head the Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj Ministry. Verma was earlier the minister of state (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Steel.
Vilasrao Deshmukh, who used to handle the Rural Development portfolio, has been moved to the Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences. Law Minister Veerappa Moily has been shifted to the Corporate Affairs Ministry. Salman Khurshid replaces him as the new law and justice minister. He will also have additional charge of the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
Some of the new faces in the ministry include Srikant Jena, Gurudas Kamat.
Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan, Congress chief whip Paban Singh Ghatowar have been inducted as ministers of state with independent charge.
TC chief whip Sudip Bandopadhyaya, Congress leaders Charan Das Mahant, Jitendra Singh, Milind Deora, Rajiv Shukla have made their debut as ministers of state in the cabinet.
The ministers who have been dropped from the Union Cabinet include Dayanidhi Maran, Murli Deora, BK Handique, MS Gill, Kanti Lal Bhuria, A Sai Prathap and Arun S Yadav.
Maran had resigned as the textiles minister following allegations following allegations that he arm-twisted Aircel owner C Sivasankarn to sell his 74 per cent stake to Maxis group of Malaysia. Resignations of Dayanidhi Maran and Murli Deora have been forwarded to President for acceptance.
President Pratibha Patil will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at 5.00 pm on Tuesday.