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Dr. Singh took the oath of office

Manmohan Singh was today sworn-in as Prime Minister for a second term along with 19 other Cabinet ministers .Putting together his government literally brick by brick, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apportioned work to six of his Cabinet colleagues on Saturday. Finance has been assigned to Pranab Mukherjee; Agriculture, Food & Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution to Sharad Pawar; Defence to A.K. Antony; Home to P. Chidambaram, Railways to Mamata Banerjee and External Affairs to S.M. Krishna.

Arjun Singh, H R Bhardwaj and two other senior ministers of the previous Cabinet have been excluded.
The 19 ministers, all of Cabinet rank, include Ghulam Nabi Azad, Veerappa Moily, new entrant Rajasthan PCC chief C P Joshi and Anand Sharma and B K Handique, who were promoted from the previous ministry.Others inducted were S Jaipal Reddy, Kamal Nath, Vayalar Ravi, Meira Kumar, Murli Deora, Kapil Sibal, Ambika Soni and Sushil Kumar Shinde. Another group of ministers, probably a larger one, is expected to be sworn-in on Tuesday next.

The Congress is apparently willing to return Communications and Information Technology to Dayanidhi Maran, while Mr. Baalu will have to settle for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Mr. Raja, Labour. Besides, the DMK will be allowed three Ministers of State but none with independent charge. Mr. Karunanidhi’s two children — newly elected M. Azhagiri and Rajya Sabha member M. Kanimozhi — will at best become Ministers of State under this formula.

Parliament be convened from June 1 to 9 to swear in the newly elected members of the 15th Lok Sabha. The session will have seven sittings.

The Speaker’s election will take place on the third day of the session and the President will address a joint session of Parliament on the fourth day. The remaining three days have been set aside for taking up the discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address.

The process of passing the budget had to be completed by July 31.
The Congress manifesto had promised to bring the budget within 45 days of the formation of a
new government


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