Manmohan Singh, India's Prime Minister, made seven new Ministers take oath of office last Sunday as part of a major cabinet reshuffle.
The seven new Ministers include Jyotiraditya Scindia, the son of a former Party leader, and former chief election commissioner M S Gill. The rest of new Ministers are Jitin Prasada, V Narayanasamy, Santosh Bagrodia, Rameshwar Oraon, and Rashtriya Janta Dal MP Raghunath Jha.
The seven new Ministers had their oath of office and secrecy administered by President Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Prime Minister, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and a number of key Cabinet Ministers were also reported to be in attendance at this important induction ceremony.
The cabinet reshuffle was truly a case of ‘out with the old, in with the new', as six existing ministers handed in their resignation prior to the appointment of Mr Singh's new ministers. The politicians who resigned from the cabinet included Suresh Pachouri from the Ministry of State for Personnel, M V Rajasekharan of the Ministry of State for Planning, Dasari Narayan Rao of the Ministry of State for Coal, T Subbarami Reddy from the Ministry of State for Mines, Manikrao Gavit from the Ministry of State for Home Affairs, and Akhilesh Das of the Ministry of State for Steel.
Mr Singh's decision to undergo a significant cabinet reshuffle was thought to be in response to accusations that he did not have enough younger politicians in his cabinet. There is no doubt that Mr Singh is also hoping that the changes he's currently making to the organisation of his party will help boost its ailing popularity and encourage voters to choose them at next year's federal elections. After all, last year was a bad one for the Congress party, as it lost five of seven state polls. So far, 2008 seems no better for the party, which failed to gain power in three states earlier this year.
Aandaleeb Singh is from North India and enjoys writing about Hindi News .