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PM expands Cabinet

New Delhi(PTI): Seven Cabinet ministers, including new faces such as K. Rehman Khan and Chandresh Kumari, and 15 Ministers of State were sworn—in on Sunday as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expanded his Council of Ministers.

Five Ministers of State —— Dinsha Patel, M.M. Pallam Raju, Harish Rawat, Ajay Maken and Ashwani Kumar —— were promoted to Cabinet rank.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari and actor—turned—politician Chiranjeevi were brought in as Ministers of State with independent charge, while Shashi Tharoor made a comeback as Minister of State after over two years.

12 new Ministers of State were sworn—in. They are Tariq Anwar (Maharashtra), K Suresh (Kerala), A H Khan Chowdhry, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhry and Deepa Dasmunshi, (West Bengal), S Satyanarayana, K Jayasuyraprakash Reddy, P Balram Naik, and Killi Kriparani (Andhra Pradesh).

Lalchand Kataria (Rajasthan), Ranee Narah (Assam) and Ninong Ering (Arunachal Pradesh) are the others who were sworn—in as MoS.

Portfolio allocation

Law Minister Salman Khurshid was made the new External Affairs Minister, following the resignation of S.M. Krishna. Mr. Krishna had announced on Saturday that he is quitting “to make way” for the younger generation.

Ashwani Kumar, who was sworn in on Sunday was made the Law Minister. K. Rehman Khan, a long-time Congress member was made Minority Affairs Minister.

Ajay Maken was elevated as Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister. He was earlier the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Sports and Youth Affairs.

Dinsha Patel and Pallam Raju were promoted as Cabinet Ministers in Mines Ministry and HRD Ministry respectively. Kapil Sibal will now only handle Telecom portfolio.

Harish Rawat was made Water Resources Minister, while Chandresh Kumari is the new Culture Minister. Her predecessor Ambika Soni resigned ahead of cabinet reshuffle.

Veerappa Moily was moved to Petroleum Ministry from Corporate Affairs, Jyotiraditya Scindia has been made Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power.

Sachin Pilot was made Minister of State in Corporate Affairs with Independent charge.

Telugu actor-turned politician, Chiranjeevi, has been alloted Minister of State (Independent) Tourism.

Tariq Anwar, the only Nationalist Congress Party MP who got a ministerial bertn is the Minister of State for Agriculture. He will be reporting to his senior party colleague Sharad Pawar, who is the Agriculture Minister.

Railways portfolio, which handled by various Trinamool Congress MPs, will now be headed by Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Jaipal Reddy was relieved from his existing portfolio, Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry, and made Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences.

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