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Home > News > Report

Reshufffle was for proper representation: PM

January 29, 2006 18:23 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday said he carried out the expansion and reshuffle of his 20-month-old Council of Ministers to fill up vacancies, which had been left primarily for the Congress, and give proper representation for all states and the younger generation.

Talking to reporters after the swearing-in of 22 ministers at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the prime minister said Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu had been given more representation as these states "deserve it".

Asked about reports of another reshuffle of a minor nature after the Budget session, he said, "There is never a finality to the Cabinet formation. There is always a possibility. One cannot rule it out."

He made it clear that he would keep the external affairs portfolio, vacated byK Natwar Singh following the Volcker controversy, stating that "ultimately the PM decides the foreign policy. So, there is no extra work for me if I retained it."

Asked about the Left pressure on various issues, including the FDI in retail, disinvestment and Iran, he said these were "healthy pressures" and said the government would "satisfy its Left colleagues". He further assured the Left that the government would take all the decisions keeping in view the national interest.

Replying to another query, he said, "We have to reckon with the reality of coalition, giving importance to younger generation which is talented and giving them a chance to grow." Further, encouraging the youth was aimed at preparing the country for the future.

To a question on some ministers not getting any portfolio, he said they would be getting it in a day or two.

The expansion had to be finalised in a hurry, so portfolios could not be allocated to every one, he said.


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