New Delhi: The UPA Government has its 79 Council of Ministers.
Former Chief Minister Himachal Pradesh Mr Virbhadra Singh is the new Minister of Steel. The Ministry for Commerce and Industry has gone to Mr Anand Sharma who earlier was Minister of State for IB and External Affairs. For the first time two state party leaders from Himachal were inducted into the Union cabinet on Thursday.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has been allocated to Ms Ambika Soni, while Mr Kapil Sibal is the new Minister for Human Resource Development. Mr Murli Deora retains the Petroleum and Natural Gas portfolio as was widely expected, while Mr S. Jaipal Reddy will continue as Minister of Urban Development.
Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh is Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises; Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde retains the power portfolio and Dr Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference has been given the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Contrary to speculation Mr Kamal Nath, who was former Commerce Minister, has bagged the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. In line with expectations, DMK’s Mr Dayanidhi Maran is the new Minister of Textiles; Mr M.K. Azhagiri has clinched Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, while Mr A. Raja continues to hold the Communications and Information Technology portfolio.
The Ministry of Shipping (bifurcated from Ministry of Surface Transport) has gone to Mr G.K. Vasan; Civil Aviation is being retained by Mr Praful Patel who continues to be Minister of State with Independent Charge. Mr Veerappa Moilly, who set up the National Law School, is Minister for Law and Justice. Mr Prithvi Raj Chavan, who was Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office in the last UPA Government has retained the portfolio, and will also handle Ministry of Earth, Science and Technology, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions as well as Parliamentary Affairs.
Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia is Minister of State Commerce and Industry; Mr Jitin Prasad is Minister of State of Petroleum and Natural Gas; Mr Sachin Pilot is Minister of State in the Ministry of Communications and IT; Mr Pradeep Jain is Minister of State, Rural Development. Ms Agatha Sangma, the youngest Minister, 50 years younger than the oldest in the Cabinet, is Minister of State, Rural Development.