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Inside Ashoka Hall: Rahul's jibe, Naik's gaffe and more

Last updated on: October 28, 2012 19:24 IST

Shashi Tharoor captured on a cell phone camera

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The ornate Ashoka Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Sunday reverberated with joy as 22 new ministers were inducted into the central government.

Shashi Tharoor, who made a comeback in the government, was seen greeted by one and many as he and his wife Sunanda Pushkar gracefully acknowledged the greetings.

Pushkar was also seen chatting with National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon among others before the swearing-in ceremony and clicked pictures using her mobile phone as Tharoor walked up to the podium to take oath of office and secrecy.

Harish Rawat, who was elevated to the Cabinet rank, was all smiles as he entered the Ashoka Hall.

Rawat, a strong contender for the post of the Uttarakhand chief minister after the March elections to the state assembly, had been sulking when the top post went to Vijay Bahuguna.

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Image: President Pranab Mukherjee administering oath of Minister of State to Shashi Tharoor at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday
Photographs: Courtesy: PIB

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'I'm talking with my imprints'

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Nationalist Congress Party's Tariq Anwar was the only representative from the UPA partners to be sworn in as a Minister of State, marking his maiden entry in the government.

Anwar, a four-term member of the Lok Sabha from Katihar in Bihar, is now a second term Rajya Sabha member from NCP.

Rahul Gandhi, who arrived at the Rashtrapati Bhawan along with his mother Sonia Gandhi, was seen chatting with young ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora, Sachin Pilot, R P N Singh and Jitendra Singh after the swearing-in ceremony.

"I am talking with my 'imprints'," he said jocularly when journalists sought his comments on the reshuffle. He was apparently referring to media reports of 'Rahul imprint on Cabinet reshuffle'.

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Image: A video grab showing Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi attending the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday


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Balram Naik's biggest moment

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While most of the 22 minister took oath with ease, it appeared to be a battle of nerves for Porika Balram Naik, who rushed to greet President Pranab Mukherjee and others present after his oath-taking, and almost forgot to sign his name after being sworn in.

An official was seen reminding him to sign the register.

Naik, a Congressman, represents Mahabubabad in Andhra Pradesh in the Lok Sabha. He has long been associated with uplift of tribal groups in Andhra Pradesh.

Just before the swearing-in, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde went up to all the new entrants in the Union Council of Ministers to greet them personally.

All but one of the 22 ministers took the oath of office and secrecy in the name of God. Tariq Anwar of the NCP made a solemn affirmation.

Congress leaders Sarvey Satyanarayana and P Balram Naik touched the feet of the President after being sworn-in as Ministers of State.


Image: President Pranab Mukherjee administering oath of Minister of State to Porika Balram Naik at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday
Photographs: Courtesy: PIB

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