Karela Fry

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A cabinet reshuffle: very minor

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Livemint reported a cabinet reshuffle that is too minor to be even called cosmetic:

Amid accusations of policy paralysis, unabated inflation and a series of scams, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made some changes in his council of ministers, apparently to refurbish the image of his 26-months-old government.

The beleaguered Prime Minister also dropped senior Congress leaders Murli Deora (company affairs), B.K. Handique (North East affairs), Kanti Lal Bhuria (tribal affairs), M.S. Gill (statistics and programme implementation) and Arun S. Yadav (minister of state for agriculture and food processing industries). A. Sai Prathap (minister of state for heavy industries and public enterprise) has also been dropped from the cabinet.

The ministers for finance, home affairs, defense and foreign affairs all kept their jobs despite intense speculations over changing some of the top ministers.

Among the major changes Singh has made are Jayanthi Natarajan who has been brought in as environment minister wth independent charge, with Jayaram Ramesh being elevated as the cabinet minister for rural development, Salman Khurshid transferred to the law and justice ministry with an additional charge of minority affairs, Veerappa Moily moved to corporate affairs and Vilasrao Deshmukh being handed the science and technology and earth sciences portfolio.

New face, Milind Deora, son of Murli Deora has named minister of state for communications and information technology while old Congress hand Rajiv Shukla is the new minister of state for parliamentary affairs.

Dinesh Trivedi has been elevated as cabinet minister for railways, Beni Prasad Verma for steel while senior Congress leader V. Kishore Chandra Deo has been inducted as cabinet minister for panchayati raj and tribal affairs.

The noticeable changes are family favourites being elevated and placed into key ministries.

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