Govt musical chairs continues

The allocation of portfolios at the junior level continued into the second week on Friday.

Minister of state (MoS) for new and renewable energy S Jagathrakshakan was named the new MoS for commerce and industry instead of the earlier portfolio, which was changed just a week ago when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reshuffled his council of ministers on October 28.

A communiqué from Rashtrapati Bhavan said: “The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed that S Jagathrakshakan, Minister of State,  shall be allocated the portfolio of Commerce and Industry instead of New and Renewable Energy.”

Consequently, there is a possibility that D Purandeswari, who was last week shifted as MoS from human resource development to commerce and ministry, may be promoted and posted as MoS (independent charge) of textiles. Currently, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma holds additional charge of textiles. At present, there is no junior minister in the textiles ministry.

Ever since the PM reshuffled his council of ministers and reallocated portfolios, the exercise was marred by frequent changes and uncertainties. MoS for defence Lal Chand Kataria was asked by the PMO not to take charge in defence ministry and after two days, was shifted to rural development.

The reason was the reshuffle saw another minister from the same state (Rajasthan) – Jitendra Singh – had already been appointed MoS in defence. Portfolios of Jatin Prasada were changed in a mix-up after being officially notified.

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