Keeping assembly polls in mind, PM reshuffles UPA II Cabinet

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    New Delhi, Jan.19 (ANI): Keeping in mind that assembly elections are to be held in the key states of Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Wednesday, reshuffled and reconstituted his cabinet for the first time since the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) began its second consecutive tenure in government in May 2009.
    As expected, three ministers of state – Praful Patel, Sriprakash  Jaiswal and Salman Khurshid-were elevated to Cabinet rank. Patel was shifted from the Civil Aviation Ministry to the Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Ministry. Jaiswal was made the Cabinet Minister for Coal, while Khurshid was appointed the Cabinet Minister for Water Resources and Minority Affairs.
    Three Ministers of State with Independent Charge were also appointed. They were Ajay Maken (Youth Affairs and Sports); Beni Prasad Verma (Steel) and Professor K.V. Thomas (Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution).
    Two new Ministers of State were also appointed. They were Ashwani Kumar (Planning and Parliamentary Affairs and Science and Technology and  Earth Sciences, and K.C. Venugopal (Power).
    The Prime Minister also changed the portfolios of some of his ministers as part of the reshuffling process.
    They were as follows: Murli Deora shifted from Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to Ministry of Corporate Affairs S. Jaipal Reddy shifted from Ministry of Urban Development to Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Kamal Nath shifted from Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to Ministry of Urban Development Kapil Sibal retains Ministry of Telecom and Human Resource Development M S Gill moved from Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs to Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation Sharad Pawar retains Ministry of Agriculture, gets Food Processing Industries and sheds Consumer Affairs and Food and Civil Supplies Virbhadra Singh shifted from Ministry of Steel to Ministry of Micro,  Small and Medium Enterprises.
    Vilasrao Deshmukh shifted from Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises to Ministry of Rural Development with additional charge of Ministry of Panchayati Raj Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi gets additional charge of Ministry of Civil Aviation B K Handique divested of Mines portfolio, but retains Ministry of
    Development of North Eastern Region C P Joshi shifted from Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj  to Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Kumari Selja divested of Tourism portfolio but gets additional charge  of Culture, retains Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Subodh Kant Sahay shifted from Food Processing Industries to Tourism Pawan Kumar Bansal retains Parliamentary Affairs, loses Water Resources Dinsha Patel shifted to Mines as Minister of State with Independent Charge
    E Ahamed to be Minister of State for External Affairs instead of Railwaysarish Rawat shifted as Minister of State for Labour to Minister  of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries V Narayansami made Minister of State in the Prime Minister`s Office,  Department of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension. He retains Parliamentary Affairs while losing Statistics and Programme Implementation Gurudas Kamat shifted from Department of Telecom to Home Affairs as Minister of State.
    A Sai Pratap gets Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Bharatsinh Solanki made Minister of State for Railways Jitin Prasada made Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Madhav S Khandela made Minister of State for Tribal Affairs R P N Singh will be Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas and  Corporate Affairs Tusharbhai Chaudhary made Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways.

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