New Delhi: In keeping with its general tenor of adopting the line of least resistance to issues the UPA government at the Centre has conducted a cabinet 'reshuffle' instead of an 'expansion' and the little merry-go-round reveals a careful alignment of portfolios with ministers from key states that will soon be headed for polls.
In this regard Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh walk away with plum assignments with three ministers from the heavily populated northern Indian state elevated to cabinet rank and also receiving key portfolios. Andhra too sees veteran politico Jaipal Reddy shifting out of urban development and heading for the glamour slot of Petroleum, where he replaces Murli Deora.
High profile minister Kamal Nath's fortunes continue to dip as he shifts out of key infrastructure ministry of Road Transport and Highways to Urban Development in place of Reddy.
UP representatives Salman Khurshid, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Beni Prasad Verma land cabinet-ranked portfolios and RPN Singh, an important slot as MoS in the ministry of petroleum. Khurshid moves to water resources and Verma to Steel while Jaiswal bags coal.
Kerala sees KC Venugopal landing a plum assignment of power.
NCP's Praful Patel is certainly on the ascendant with this suave personality moving out of civil aviation to the heavy-weight assignment of heavy industries, where he replaces Vilasrao Deshmukh, who, in turn moves to rural development. Rajasthan's CP Joshi vacates the slot for Deshmukh.