UPA govt goes for another makeover; adds 8 new faces

The United Progressive Alliance government at the centre today announced another reshuffle of the cabinet with the induction of eight new ministers and change of portfolios of some ministers.

New Delhi North blockPrime minister Manmohan Singh today inducted Sisram Ola, Girija Vyas, Mallikarjun Kharge and KS Rao as cabinet ministers.

Mallikarjun Kharge has been shifted to railways and Sisram Ola has been given the labour and employment portfolio.

Oscar Fernandes gets the road and highways portfolio while Girija Vyas from election-bound Rajastan has been given the portfolio of housing, urban development and poverty alleviation.

Kavuru Sambasiva Rao from Andhra Pradesh will take over as the new minister of textiles, a portfolio currently handled by commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma.

The new ministers of state are Manikrao H Gavit (social justice and empowerment), Santosh Chowdhary (health and family welfare), D. E M S Natchiappan (commerce and industry), Jesudasu Seelam (finance).

The expansion-cum-reshuffle of the council of ministers has been necessitated by the exit of ministers from DMK as well as resignation of Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ashwani Kumar

Yesterday, two other ministers, Ajay Maken and CP Joshi had announced their resignation to facilitate the reshuffle.

The reshuffle comes a day after Congress effected a major organisational change to reflect the increased delegation of power to party vice president Rahul Gandhi.

This is the second reshuffle of the UPA ministry since October, taking the strength of the council of ministers to 77.

This could also be the last reshuffle of the UPA-II ministry with the Lok Sabha elections less than a year away.