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After PM's assurance, Deb assumes office

May 25, 2004 12:22 IST

Santosh Mohan Deb, who did not assume office on Monday as Minister of State with independent
charge of Heavy Industries Ministry, on Tuesday took over following an assurance from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the anomaly of having two ministers of state in the same ministry would be rectified.

Deb, a seasoned Congressman from Assam, had been given independent charge of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises while Rashtriya Janata Dal's Taslimuddin was also appointed as MoS in the same ministry.
"I am not a child and I did not barge into the ministry. I talked to the prime minister and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi this morning. They asked me to take charge and said the mistake will be rectified," he told reporters.
Asked whether Taslimuddin would assume office, Deb said, "That you have to ask him."
Deb had yesterday said there was no convention of having a junior minister when an MoS had been given independent charge of a department. He had said he would not assume office until the mistake was rectified.

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