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Manmohan Singh, 67 ministers sworn in

May 22, 2004 18:07 IST
Last Updated: May 22, 2004 22:27 IST

Dr Manmohan Singh was today sworn in as prime minister of India at the head of a 68 member Congress-led United Progressive Alliance coalition government.

Clad in white kurta-pyjama and his trademark blue turban, Singh, 71, took the oath of office and secrecy in English at an impressive function at the Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Oxbridge-educated economist, who put India on the path of reform in 1991, is the first prime minister from the Sikh community.

The new government has 28 Cabinet ministers, including 18 from the Congress, and 39 ministers of state, ten of them with independent charge. President A P J Abdul Kalam administered the oath of office and secrecy to all of them in the Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Among the Congress veterans who found their way back into government were Pranab Mukherjee, Arjun Singh, K Natwar Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, Shankarsinh Vaghela, P M Sayeed and Hans Raj Bhardwaj.

Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, Rashtriya Janata Dal president Laloo Prasad Yadav and his senior colleague Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Lok Janashakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha president Shibu Soren, and Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K Chandrasekhar Rao were also inducted into the Cabinet.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam politicians who got Cabinet berths were T R Baalu, Dayanidhi Maran, and A Raja. Pattali Makkal Katchi chief S Ramadoss' son R Ambumani also made it into the Cabinet.

Other Congress leaders who got into the Cabinet were Kamal Nath, S Jaipal Reddy, Sisram Ola, P Chidambaram, Mahavir Prasad, P R Kyndiah, Mani Shankar Aiyar, Sunil Dutt and Meira Kumar.

Surprise inclusions in the Cabinet were former Lok Sabha speaker Shivraj Patil and former deputy speaker P M Sayeed, both of whom were defeated in the recent general election.

After the Congress, the DMK has the largest representation in the Cabinet with three members followed by the RJD (two) and one each from the NCP, LJP, TRS, JMM and PMK.

Of the total 67 ministers, 42 belong to the Congress, eight to the RJD, seven to the DMK, three to the NCP, two each to the PMK and TRS, and one each to the LJP, JMM and Indian Union Muslim League.

The lion's share of eight of the 10 ministers of state with independent charge went to the Congress while the NCP and the RJD shared the other two.

The ministers of state with independent charge are Santosh Mohan Deb, Jagdish Tytler, Oscar Fernandes, Renuka Choudhary, Subodh Kant Sahay, Kapil Sibal, Vilas Muttemwar, Kumari Selja (all Congress), Praful Patel (NCP) and Premchand Gupta (RJD).

Of the 29 ministers of state, sixteen are from the Congress followed by five from the RJD, four from the DMK and one each from the NCP, TRS, PMK and IUML.

Prominent among the ministers of state from the Congress are Prithviraj Chavan, Kantilal Bhuria, Suresh Pachauri, Shakil Ahmed, Inderjit Singh and Sriprakash Jaiswal. M A A Fatimi, Mohammed Taslimuddin and Kanti Singh were among the RJD nominees. Suryakanta Patil of the NCP, A Narenda of the TRS, and E Ahamed of the IUML also got minister of state rank.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by outgoing prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former deputy prime minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul and daughter Priyanka Vadra.

Among others at the function were Manmohan Singh's wife Gursharan Kaur, former President K R Narayanan and his wife Usha, and former prime ministers P V Narasimha Rao, Inder Kumar Gujral, H D Deve Gowda, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, and Chandra Shekhar.

On the formation of the Council of Ministers, Dr Singh later said, "There are always problems, but we will find credible means to deal with them."

He expressed confidence that his government would complete its full five-year term, and said it would be his duty to repay the trust reposed in him by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the people of the country.

Observing that the Council of Ministers reflects "India's diversity and India's flexibility" much more than before, the prime minister said, "We wanted to give representation to various sections, various communities, and various regions."

Following is the full list of the Council of Ministers sworn in today:

Dr Manmohan SinghINCPrime MinisterRSAssamNA
Pranab MukherjeeINCCabinetLSWest BengalJangipur
Arjun SinghINCCabinetRSMadhya PradeshNA
Sharad PawarNCPCabinetLSMaharashtraBaramati
Laloo Prasad YadavRJDCabinetLSBiharMadhepura
Shivraj V PatilINCCabinetNoneMaharashtraLatur (Lost)
Ram Vilas PaswanLJPCabinetLSBiharHajipur
Ghulam Nabi AzadINCCabinetRSJammu & KashmirNA
S Jaipal ReddyINCCabinetLSAndhra PradeshMiryalguda
Sisram OIaINCCabinetLSRajasthanJhunjhunu
P ChidambaramINCCabinetLSTamil NaduSivaganga
Mahavir PrasadINCCabinetLSUttar PradeshBansgaon
P R KyndiahINCCabinetLSMeghalayaShillong
T R BaaluDMKCabinetLSTamil NaduMadras South
Shankarsinh VaghelaINCCabinetLSGujaratKapadvanj
K Natwar SinghINCCabinetRSNA
Kamal NathINCCabinetLSMadhya PradeshChhindwara
H R BhardwajINCCabinetRSMadhya PradeshNA
P M SayeedINCCabinetNoneLakshadweepLakshadweep (lost)
Raghuvansh Prasad SinghRJDCabinetLSBiharVaishali
Priya Ranjan DasmunsiINCCabinetLSWest BengalRaiganj
Mani Shankar AiyarINCCabinetLSTamil NaduMayiladuthurai
Sunil DuttINCCabinetLSMaharashtraMumbai Northwest
Meira KumarINCCabinetLSBiharSasaram
K Chandrasekhar RaoTRSCabinetLSAndhra PradeshKarimnagar
Shibu SorenJMMCabinetLSJharkhandDumka
A RajaDMKCabinetLSTamil NaduPerambalur
Dayanidhi MaranDMKCabinetLSTamil NaduMadras Central
R AmbumaniPMKCabinetNoneTamil NaduNA
Santosh Mohan DebINCMoS, IndLSAssamSilchar
Jagdish TytlerINCMoS, IndLSDelhiDelhi Sadar
Oscar FernandesINCMoS, IndNoneKarnatakaNA
Renuka ChoudhuryINCMoS, IndLSAndhra PradeshKhammam
Subodh Kant SahayINCMoS, IndLSJharkhandRanchi
Kapil SibalINCMoS, IndLSDelhiChandni Chowk
Vilas MuttemwarINCMoS, IndLSMaharashtraNagpur
SeljaINCMoS, IndLSHaryanaAmbala
Praful PatelNCPMoS, IndRSMaharashtraBhandara (lost)
Premchand GuptaRJDMoS, IndRSBiharNA
E AhamedIUMLMoSLSKeralaPonnani
Suresh PachouriINCMoSRSMadhya PradeshNA
Vijay Krishna HandeMoS
Panabaka LakshmiINCMoSLSAndhra PradeshNellore
Dasari Narayana RaoINCMoSRSAndhra PradeshNA
Shakil AhmedINCMoSLSBiharMadhubani
Inderjit SinghINCMoSLSHaryanaMahendragarh
Naranbhai RathwaINCMoSLSGujaratChhota Udepur
Rahman KhanINCMoSRSKarnatakaNA
K H MuniyappaINCMoSLSKarnatakaKolar
M V RajasekharanINCMoSRSKarnatakaNA
Kantilal BhuriaINCMoSLSMadhya PradeshJhabua
Manikrao GavitINCMoSLSMaharashtraNandurbar
Sriprakash JaiswalINCMoSLSUttar PradeshKanpur
Prithviraj ChavanINCMoSRSMaharashtraNA
Mohammed TaslimuddinINCMoSLSBiharKishenganj
Suryakanta PatilNCPMoSLSMaharashtraHingoli
Md Ali Ashraf FatmiRJDMoSLSBiharDarbhanga
A NarendraTRSMoSLSAndhra PradeshMedak
R VeluPMKMoSLSTamil NaduArakkonam
S S PalanimanickamDMKMoSLSTamil NaduThanjavur
S RegupathyDMKMoSLSTamil NaduPudukkottai
K VenkatapathyDMKMoSLSTamil NaduTiruchengode
E V K S ElangovanINCMoSLSTamil NaduGobichettipalayam
Kanti SinghRJDMoSLSBiharArrah
Namo Narain MeenaINCMoSLSRajasthanSawai Madhopur
Jay Prakash Narayan YadavRJDMoSLSBiharMonghyr
Akhilesh Prasad SinghRJDMoSLSBiharMotihari

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Democracy is a luxury to developing countries like India as the system is most inefficient, not only holds but drags back progress significantly! So perhaps, ...

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