Former Rajya Sabha Dy Speaker and one of the important Karnataka
leader, K. Rahman Khan, has been inducted in Dr Manmohan Singh's
cabinet Sunday as Union Minister for Minority Affairs whereas
Salman Khurshid, who was earlier incharge of the minority
ministry, has replaced SM Krsihna as Minister of External Affairs.
Salman Khurshid was also holding the
law ministry but the ministry has now been given to Ashwani Kumar.
There has been discomfort about the
way Salman Khurshid was handling the minority ministry and hectic
lobbying was on since more than a year to replace him by K Rahman
K Rahman Khan, besides serving as Dy
Speaker of Rajya Sabha, also presided over the parliamentary
committee formed to look into Waqf Reforms. His induction into the
Union Cabinet is also linked to upcoming assembly elections in
Karnataka where Muslims are angry with the Congress party due to
its disturbing policies towards the community.
The other changes in portfolios of
existing ministers and portfolios of new ministers following
Sunday's cabinet reshuffle are: M. Veerappa Moily - petroleum,
Dinsha Patel - mines, Ajay Maken - housing and poverty
alleviation, M.M. Pallam Raju - human resource development, Harish
Rawat - water resources, Chandresh Kumari Katoch - culture.
The portfolios of the Ministers of State (Independent Charge) are
Jyotiraditya Scindia - power, Manish Tewari - information and
broadcasting, K. Chiranjeevi - tourism and Sachin Pilot -
After the cabinet reshuffle, Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh said the new cabinet is a
combination of youth and experience and hoped it would be the last
one before the next general election scheduled in 2014.
"It is a combination of youth and experience," Manmohan Singh told
reporters after the swearing ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
When asked about ministers who quit giving way for others, the
prime minister said: "The party needs men and women of experience
to strengthen it. They will be equally productive in the party."
On his priorities in the next few months, Manmohan Singh said:
"The road ahead is full of challenges."
The prime minister was hopeful that this was the last reshuffle
before the 2014 general elections.
He ruled out early election saying they will be held in due course