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Jairam elevated to cabinet rank, gets rural development

New Delhi: The Congress’ Jayanthi Natarajan will replace Jairam Ramesh as the new environment minister with the latter elevated to the cabinet rank and reassigned the rural development portfolio.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh forwarded to President Pratibha Patil the list of the new ministers who will take oath of office at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Ramesh held independent charge of the environment and forests portfolio, which would be now with Natarajan, according to the list on the website of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Ramesh replaces Vilasrao Deshmukh as the rural development minister. Deshmukh has been shifted to the science and technology and earth sciences ministry.

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