Expansion of the Central Cabinet

After Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh expanded his cabinet on Thursday (28th May), the total number of ministers including the Prime Minister has become 79. At present it is difficult to say whether this expansion is the last one or he will include more people in his Cabinet. It can be recalled that last Friday he took oath with 19 other Ministers. They were all Cabinet Ministers. Among these Mamata Banerjee is from Trinamool Congress and Sharad Pawar from Nationalist Congress Party,rest all of them are from the Congress Party. The ministries of only six ministers were announced that day. Now 59 more ministers are included. Out of them 15 have been made as Cabinet Ministers, rest of them are ministers of state. Some of them are independent. Among these 79 people 65 have been directly elected that is they are related to the Lok Sabha. Remaining are related to the Rajya Sabha which include Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself. Four of the new Ministers were earlier Chief Ministers of the States like Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Vilasrao Deshmukh. In this expansion, DMK, Muslim League and National Conference are also included. In this way, based on party participation Congress has recieved the maximum part, collectively 59 members are made Ministers. It can be recalled that the total number of Congress members in the Lok Sabha is 206, Trinamool Congress has 19 members in Lok Sabha among which 7 are Ministers. The number of DMK ministers is also 7 and their members in Lok Sabha are 18. Nationalist Congress party has 9 members in Lok Sabha and 3 among them are ministers. 1 member each is taken from National Conference and Muslim League in the Central Cabinet although the number of their members in Lok Sabha are 2 and 3 respectively. JMM has not got any part as yet.

Many new faces can be seen in the Central Cabinet and youngsters also have been given a lot of importance, this include Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindhia, Agatha Sangma. This time there are 9 women in the Central Cabinet. It should be explicit that there number was 10 in the last cabinet. The number of cabinet Ministers is 34. Among them 14 Ministers have become Cabinet Ministers for the first time. Youngest Minister is Agatha Sangama who belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party and she is the daughter of former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A.Sangma. The oldest Minister is former Karnataka Chief Minister S.M.Krishna who is 77 years old. Average age is said to be 57 years. The number of Dalit ministers is 10 whereas 5 muslims ministers are also there. As far as the representation from the states is concerned among these 79 ministers, there are 9 each from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, 8 from West Bengal, 6 each from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, 5 are related to Uttar Pradesh. Number of Ministers from Rajasthan, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh is 4 each. Number of ministers from other states is 23 which includes 2 from Gujrat and 2 from Meghalaya also. This time those who are left out from the Central Cabinet include senior Congress leader Arjun Singh, Shivraj Patil, Sheesh Ram Ola, Hansraj Bharadwaj, T.R.Balu and Saifuddin Soz. It has been told that where on one hand Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has included experienced colleagues in the cabinet on the other hand he has given a chance to the new generation too and given them an oppurtunity to move ahead too.
01/06/09 Editorial by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Asma Anjum Siddiqui

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