Factors like talent considered for deciding Cabinet: PM

Factors like talent considered for deciding Cabinet: PM

Singh said his new Council of Ministers is a "mixture of experience and youthful energy".

"There are several factors like availability of talent and other considerations that played the role," he told reporters when asked why Uttar Pradesh, where the party improved its tally from 10 to 21 seats, was not adequately represented in the Cabinet.

The Prime Minister was speaking at Rashtrapati Bhavan after swearing in of 59 ministers. The Cabinet has no one from Uttar Pradesh from where five MPs have found place as Ministers of State.

When Gandhi was asked about inadequate representation to Uttar Pradesh in Council of Ministers, she pointed towards Rahul Gandhi and said, "Here is the reason. He is refusing to become a minister. He wants to work for the party."

When asked why there was nobody from UP in the Cabinet, the Congress President shot back "MoS kafi nahi hai (Isn't MoS enough)? There are two MoS with Independent charge."

To press her argument, she noted that Congress had got only 21 out of 80 seats in UP.

UP has got only five ministers -- two ministers of state with independent charge Sriprakash Jaiswal and Salman Khursheed and three MoS Jitin Prasada and R P N Singh and Pradeep Jain.

Rahul Gandhi also insisted that UP had been adequately represented in the Council of Ministers, saying the state needs fundamental change rather than getting berths in Cabinet.

On delay in firming up the Council of Ministers, Singh said, "We wanted to do a thorough exercise, looking at experience and availability of talent."

When queried why leaders like Arjun Singh and Shivraj Patil have been dropped, he skirted a direct reply and merely said, "there are other avenues to use their expertise".

The Prime Minister said the government would spell out its priorities for the first 100 days in office through the President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament and the budget speech of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

On UP, Rahul said it needs a fundamental change as it continues to lag behind in development. "We have been working silently, you will see results in three years," he said.

"In my view, UP needs much more fundamental change. Basically, UP and Bihar are lagging behind and they need development. The state (UP) has been starved of development," he said, adding "We have got lot of work to do in UP and we are going to do."

In UP, he said "we have to offer the people a fundamental change. What has been offered to the people in the state in the last 20 years is bankruptcy. People of UP are tired of what is going on there."

"Through activities of NSUI and youth congress, we have learnt a lot of things in Punjab, Gujarat, Puducherry and some other states," Rahul said.

Asked why he was refusing to join the government, Rahul said, "I want to work for Congress party because I believe in doing one thing at a time. I do not believe in doing six jobs at one time. Then I cannot do justice to it (ministership)."

He, however, added that his "imprint" was already in the government in the form of youngsters who have been inducted.

Rahul rubbished a question as to whether there was a sense of arrogance in Congress towards its allies as it had got a big mandate of 206 seats on its own.

"In politics, you cannot have arrogance. I don't think Congress has arrogance at all," he said.

Asked whether he would be taking some rest after hectic campaigning, pat came the reply "If you let me."

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