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Kapil Sibal to take charge of Chavan's ministries

Source: PTI
November 10, 2010 15:00 IST
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President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Prithviraj Chavan from the Union Council of Ministers and asked Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal to hold additional charge of two ministries independently handled by him.

A Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said the resignation of Chavan who held the charge of science and technology and earth sciences ministries as minister of state (independent charge) has been accepted by the President on the recommendation of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

"As advised by the PM, the President directs that Kapil Sibal, minister of human resource development, may be temporarily entrusted the work of the ministry of science and technology and the ministry of earth sciences," the spokesperson said.

Besides holding independent charge of these two ministries, Chavan was also minister of state in the prime minister's office, ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions and parliamentary affairs ministry.

Chavan resigned from the government after he was chosen as the leader of the Maharashtra Congress legislature party. He is likely to be sworn-in as the Maharashtra chief minister on Thursday.

Chavan's appointment has been well accepted by senior Congress leaders. Describing his selection as the new Maharashtra CM as a "101 per cent right decision", Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said that he would provide "full support and cooperation" to his party colleague.

"This is 101 per cent right decision. Our leader Sonia Gandhi has appointed Prithviraj Chavan as the chief minister and we welcome it. We will provide full cooperation and support to him," he told mediapersons in New Delhi. Asked if Chavan would be able to run the government without having much experience in state politics, Deshmukh said, "Running Maharashtra is not a very difficult thing and that is something I can tell you from my experience. He is a very senior leader and has experience of working in organisation and has been active in state election campaign and knows Maharashtra very well."

On whether he felt left out in the race, the former Maharashtra CM said, "I was not even in the race. I am a cabinet minister and I have been the chief minister of the state for eight years. Coming to New Delhi is a promotion for me in my political life."

On whether the new CM would get the support of Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Deshmukh said, "Pawar will definitely support him as we are running a coalition government in Maharashtra."

Asked if his alleged involvement in Mumbai's Adarsh Society scam resulted in his ouster from the race, he said a probe was on in the case and after its completion, the truth will emerge.

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