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Rediff.com  » News » Chidambaram, Shinde, Moily take charge of new ministries

Chidambaram, Shinde, Moily take charge of new ministries

August 01, 2012 18:59 IST
A day after changes in their portfolios, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde took charge of their respective ministries.

Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily, who has been given additional responsibility of the power ministry, also took charge from Shinde against the backdrop of severe electricity crisis with power outages being witnessed in most parts of the country successively during the last two days.

Getting down to business immediately, Moily assured the nation that the massive power outage due to transmission grid failure will not recur and that he has called a meeting of chief ministers of some of the affected states on August 6 to discuss problems that may be there.

Chidambaram, who was moved from the home ministry, took over as the finance minister at a time when the country's economy is facing immense difficulties.

Before taking charge of the finance ministry, Chidambaram went to his previous home ministry for a short while on Wednesday morning.

Returning to the finance ministry after three-and-a-half years, he will have to address challenges like inflation, decline in the value of rupee and scare among foreign investors due to some recent decisions.

Shinde, while taking charge of new portfolio, promised to work closely with the states in dealing with internal security challenges and contentious issues like setting up of the National Counter Terrorism Centre.

Shinde, whose elevation from the power ministry to the home ministry was announced on a day the country faced its worst electricity crisis, said he would try to plug the gaps that exist in the relations between the Centre and the states. He said his predecessor Chidambaram had done good work and plugged these gaps to a certain extent and he would continue on that path.

"I have been hearing from political circles in the Central Hall in Parliament that there is still scope to plug the gaps in relations between the states and the Centre," Shinde told the media in New Delhi shortly after taking the charge.

"We will have to further go ahead. One has to have good relations with states. The states may be ruled by different parties. But I want to send a message to all the chief ministers that we are all Indians and together we will work wherever there is a difficulty," he said.

The statement comes in the backdrop of the opposition the home ministry has faced in recent past to the NCTC and some other issues. However, he had a tough time in explaining massive power breakdowns in parts of the country on Monday and Tuesday.

Amid sharp criticism over his elevation as home minister on a day the nation faced its worst electricity blackout, he said that the people should appreciate that electricity supply was restored within hours while in the United States electricity does not come for four days.

"We got electricity in a matter of hours... people should appreciate how work is done at the grid," he said before moving to the home ministry office.

Electricity grids tripped for the second time in two days on, causing blackouts in 19 states and two Union Territories including the national capital Delhi.

Shinde said he has submitted the report on the power crisis to the Prime Minister's Office. "I have briefed the PMO... in the USA light (electricity) does not come for four days, here we got it (restored) in a matter of hours," he said.

 When asked about the power crisis, Moily said, "At this point of time, we don't want or start any blame game on any state either on overloading or whatever it is. Without co-operation of state and without cooperation of Centre, nothing can be done."

He said before the chief ministers' meeting, there would be a meeting of all state secretaries and principal secretaries (of power) on the same day.

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