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Indian-origin minister dropped in Britain

October 07, 2008 17:23 IST

An Indian-origin minister has been dropped from British Premier Gordon Brown's cabinet and replaced as under-secretary of state in the department for communities and local government by another parliamentarian of Asian descent.

In a reshuffle, Gloucester MP Parmjit Dhanda, was dropped from the Council of Ministers while the prime minister's confidante Ugandan-born Baroness Shriti Vadera was promoted to the post of parliamentary secretary and Cabinet office minister.

Dhanda has been replaced by Tooting MP Sadiq Khan, who is of Pakistani-origin, as under-secretary of state in the department for communities and local government.

"Last night I received the call that no minister wants to receive. I was told by the prime minister that he wanted to move me on to a non-ministerial post," a disappointed Dhanda wrote on his blog.

Asking Brown to take "into account that for too long I've been the only MP with Indian roots to be serving as a minister," Dhanda hoped "this will be rectified in the near future."

The MP, who rose from a humble background, was the youngest parliamentarian at 33. His mother was a hospital cleaner and father a truck driver, who had migrated to Britain from Punjab in the sixties.

Britain's first Muslim minister of Pakistani-origin, Shahid Malik, is the new under-secretary in the Justice ministry. He was a minister in the department for international development prior to the reshuffle.

Besides, Lord Malloch-Brown will be minister in charge of India in the Foreign Office.