After the swearing ceremony, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he hoped this was his government's last reshuffle, which he described as a combination of youth and experience. (Team 2014: The New Cabinet) | (In Pics) He said he was disappointed that Rahul Gandhi had not joined the government, but said he was preoccupied as he wanted to strengthen the party. (Read: Disappointed Rahul Gandhi hasn't joined government, says Prime Minister) The PM said he did not see early elections taking place. On senior leaders like Ambika Soni quitting the government and heading back to do party work, the PM said the Congress needed men and women of experience to strengthen at the grassroots. After completely the reshuffle formalities, the PM will head to Himachal Pradesh as the state gears up for polls early next month.
Salman Khurshid has given up the Law ministry to become the Foreign Minister. Mr Khurshid's Law Ministry has been assigned to Ashwani Kumar, who has been promoted to Cabinet rank. Minority Affairs, which was also held by Mr Khurshid, has been given to the Congress' Rahman Khan who too gets Cabinet rank.
M Veerappa Moily has given up both portfolios he held and has moved to the crucial petroleum ministry. Young ministers Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia have got promotions and each hold independent charge of a Moily ministry - Corporate Affairs for Mr Pilot, Power for Mr Scindia.
Kapil Sibal has given up the Human Resource Development Ministry and holds charge of only the Telecom Ministry. MM Pallam Raju from Andhra Pradesh has been promoted to Cabinet rank, taking over as HRD minister. Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath has been given additional charge of Parliamentary Affairs.
That has freed Pawan Kumar Bansal who has taken over the crucial Railway Ministry, which Mamata Banerjee's party vacated when she stormed out of the UPA in September.
Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Ajay Maken has been elevated to Cabinet rank and has bagged the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation portfolio. And Shashi Tharoor stages a comeback; he is now Minister of State in the Human Resource Development ministry.
Prominent among new faces inducted today is Telugu superstar turned politician Chiranjeevi who has been given independent charge of Tourism, vacated by Subodh Kant Sahay, who resigned yesterday.
Also, 47-year-old Congressman from Ludhiana, Manish Tewari, who has been Congress spokesperson, is now Minster of State with Independent Charge for Information and Broadcasting, replacing Ambika Soni, who too resigned yesterday and is tipped to get a big role in Congress' organisational affairs. (Read: India's new Broadcasting Minister, Manish Tewari)
There have been more promotions. D Purandeswari from Andhra Pradesh, who has been a minister of state in the HRD ministry for six years, has been elevated to the more lucrative Commerce ministry as a Minister of State. The reshuffle focuses on Andhra Pradesh with five new ministers from the state as the Congress struggles to retain its hold. (Read: Andhra Pradesh gets lion's share with six ministers) And on Bengal, Deepa Dasmunshi, wife of Gandhi family loyalist and former minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, has been made a minister as have Adheer Choudhury, H Khan Choudhury and Pradeep Bhattacharya.
Minister of state for Rural Development Agatha Sangma, whose father Purno Sangma quit the Nationalist Congress Party or the NCP a few months ago defying his party to contest the Presidential elections against the official UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee, has made way for veteran leader Tariq Anwar who has been given the Minister of State berth in the Agriculture ministry.