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Deshmukh to work for PM's 100-day target

May 29, 2009 18:25 IST
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Friday took charge of the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, and said achieving the 100-day target set by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be his priority.

"Achieving the targets set by Prime Minister would be our priority," Deshmukh said after taking charge. He said the Prime Minister has given him the portfolio of the Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises with a "lot of trust". He, did not elaborate on the initial priorities set by the Prime Minister for his department.

Asked about the direction which the UPA government would follow for divestment of public sector companies through the stock market route, Deshmukh said, "these are the policy matters... Unless and until I discuss and I get a proper nod from the Prime Minister, it will be pre-mature to comment on it."

The Congress Party removed Deshmukh as Maharashtra Chief Minister following Mumbai terror attack in November,2008.

The 64-year-old Maratha leader has been accommodated in the Union Cabinet within six months after his removal as Chief Minister.

Deshmukh moves to the Centre with the Heavy Industries portfolio while his bete noire Narayan Rane holds industry portfolio at the state.

Asked to comment on the coincidence, Deshmukh quipped, "Both (of us) have industries...this is okay. If only one had this, there would have been difficulty".

The new Heavy Industries Minister said he would ensure transparency in his ministry. He said the Congress manifesto relating to his department would get priority.

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