Singh promoted corrupt ministers: BJP

Instead of giving a new image to the government, the Sunday reshuffle in the Union Council of Ministers is turning out to be embarrassing to the government as the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party targeted the UPA-ruled Centre for promoting the corrupt.

New External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan and MoS for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary were the focus on Monday because of alleged corruption/criminal charges against them.

Continuing their attack on the Cabinet expansion, the BJP charged that corrupt ministers have been rewarded with “promotions” in the reshuffle.

The opposition party also questioned why young leaders were not given Cabinet berths.

Last-ditch attempt

“Some new ministers have been inducted into the Manmohan Singh Cabinet in his last ditch but unsuccessful attempt to save his sinking ship. People had expected that he will try to wash away some of the taint but the tainted ministers enjoy his support while the clean ones have been ignored,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters.

Hussain also said that Shalman Khurshid, who was elevated from being Union law minister to external affairs minister, is facing allegations that his NGO was involved in financial bungling.

The tainted ministers have got a new life. The Manmohan Singh government is more tainted now than it was before the Cabinet reshuffle, he added.

“Though the BJP has never had any expectations from the UPA government, it has given promotions to those ministers who were facing allegations. It seems levelling of charges against a minister is not considered a negative point but actually a plus,” the spokesperson said. Asked about the allegations, Adhir Chowdhary challenged that he would quit if charges were proved against him.

Murder charges

Currently out on bail in a case of murder of a Gram Panchayat leader in Burdwan, Chowdhary was the accused in a twin murder case in 2005. In 2007, he was cleared of all charges.

As for Khan, he is alleged to have been involved in the Karnataka Wakf Board scam. There were also allegations against him and others that they siphoned off money from the Amanath Co-Operative Bank Ltd of Bangalore which they administered.
However, Khan was given a clean chit.

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