'Reshuffle will not do any good to UPA's image'
This was not the opportune time for the kind of "expansive" reshuffle Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had promised earlier this year.Moreover, given the inability to meet the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's demands, the exercise had to appear tentative. Judged against the expectation of a major shake-up aimed at lifting the sagging image of the government, the exercise undertaken on Tuesday would be regarded as disappointing. It does not fundamentally alter the current image of the government.
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Image: President Pratibha Patil and the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh with the newly inducted Ministers after the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan
'Replacing Murli Deora with son Milind not reconstitution'
A veteran Congress party leader like Kishore Chandra Deo is a good addition to the team and deserved the cabinet rank but his induction does not address the complaint of Telangana's backward classes about their under-representation in both Hyderabad and New Delhi.
Image: Patil administers the oath as Minister of State to Milind Deora
'Natarajan, Ramesh can take the government forward'
As the new Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh can be expected to ensure that his ministry spends its annual budget of Rs 74,100 crore more effectively and in a more electorally rewarding manner.
The new Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan enjoys a good rapport with the prime minister and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, so she can be expected to steer clear of avoidable controversies.
Image: Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan takes her oath
'PM can't leave one man in charge of HRD, telecom'
These marginal benefits will help the prime minister run the government more effectively. However, it remains unclear whether they will alter the government's image, especially among the sullen middle classes.
Image: HRD and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal
'With weak Opposition, there's no real political pressure for change'
As long as the Opposition remains weak and in disarray, any real political pressure for change is not forthcoming. Therefore, the ruling coalition will be ready for change only around the next election, or when the Congress party's first family has an exit strategy in place for the "big five" of Raisina Hill. Between now and then, Dr Singh can tweak his team with minor reshuffles.
Image: Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj with LK Advani