Live: Eight ministers inducted in union cabinet

Last Updated: Mon, Jun 17, 2013 13:16 hrs

6. 45pm

Eight ministers inducted in union cabinet

Eight ministers, mostly Congress party veterans, were inducted into Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's ministerial council today in possibly the last rejig before the 2014 general elections.

Four cabinet ministers and four ministers of state were administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Pranab Mukherjee in the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Those inducted as cabinet ministers are: Sis Ram Ola, Oscar Fernandes, Girija Vyas and K.S. Rao.

The ministers of state are: Manik Rao Gavit, Santosh Chowdhary, E.M.S. Natchiappan and J.D. Sellam.

The portfolios of the ministers will be announced shortly.

Ola and Fernandes were ministers in the United Progressive Alliance-I.

This is the fourth major reshuffle in UPA-II.

6.00 pm:

Oscar Fernandes sworn in as Roads and Highways minister
Girija Vyas sworn in as as Housing and Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation minister. 
Sis Ram Ola sworn in as as Labour and Employment minister
K S Rao sworn in as Textiles Minister

5.45 pm:

Padmashri Sis Ram Ola, an 86-year-old MP from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, was inducted as a cabinet minister.

5.30 pm:

Rediff: Eight new faces will be inducted in the Council of Ministers today, with Sisram Ola and Oscar Fernandes making a re-entry after a gap of four years. Ola, along with Girija Vyas and K S Rao, are to be inducted as Cabinet Ministers, sources said. The Ministers of State to be inducted are Manikrao Gavit, Santosh Chowdhury, J D Seelam, E M S Natchiappan. Ola and Fernandes were ministers in the UPA-I but did not find a place in the UPA-II government. With the new inductions, the strength of the Council of Ministers will go up to 77.

4.00 pm:

Mamata loses her cool: Calls Barasat rapists CPM workers

IBN Live: Days after the brutal gang rape and murder of a 20-year-old girl in West Bengal's Barasat district, a group of women protestors on Monday shouted anti-government slogans and forced Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to leave the grieving family's house within five minutes of her arrival there. Sources say, she felt it was a deliberate ploy to insult her.

Mamata lost her cool and called the anti-rape protestors, almost all women, CPI-M cadres, and the rapists -- CPI-M workers. The CPI-M is yet to react to her outburst, not by far, the first. 

Left Front Chairman Biman Bose had alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government had been "totally silent" to take any action against the rapists "who have made school and college girls their soft targets". "No matter whether the national crime records bureau puts West Bengal on top of crime-prone states, it is to be seen what the state government does to deal with such spurt in criminal activities," he had said. 

2.10 pm:

Jayalalitha accused govt of being silent on fisherman issue

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalalitha today accused the Centre of not engaging the Sri Lankan government in any dialogue to resolve the issue of attacks on fishermen from the state and maintaining a 'stoic' and 'apathetic' silence over it. 

"The External Affairs Ministry has continued to maintain a stoic and apathetic silence and there appears to be no effort to engage the Sri Lankan government in any dialogue to resolve the issue," she said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 

1.30 pm:

Rediff: Eight new ministers -- four Cabinet rank and four Ministers of State -- to be sworn in this evening. Cabinet Ministers to be sworn in are Sisram Ola, Oscar Fernandes, Girija Vyas and K S Rao. Ministers of State will be Manikrao Gavit, Santosh Chowdhury, J D Seelam, E M S Natchiappan.

12.50 pm: 

Bomb in Syrian capital kills or wounds 20 troops

Syrian activists say a car bomb attack targeting a checkpoint near a military airport in the capital has killed or wounded more than 20 soldiers.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday there were 20 casualties in the blast in the western Damascus district of Mazzeh, but did not state how many were deaths or how many were injuries.

Syrian state media confirmed the blast that occurred late Sunday, but have not released the number of those killed and injured.

Mazzeh is an upscale neighborhood of Damascus that houses several embassies and a military airport.

At least 93,000 people have been killed in Syria's 2-year-old conflict.

12.30 pm: 

Anand beats Morozevich in 3rd round 

World champion Viswanathan Anand bounced back from the disappointing results of the past two rounds to defeat Russian Alexander Morozevich in a positional skirmish in the third round of the Tal Memorial Chess tournament now in progress here.

After a loss against Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the opener and a tense draw in the second round against Russian champion Dmitry Andreikin, the world champion showed form against Morozevich and outplayed him when it mattered the most to move back to a 50 per cent score in one of the strongest tournaments of recent times.

On what turned out to be another amazing round, Caruana backed his instincts to win a drawn endgame against world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway while Hikaru Nakamura of United States scored his second win on the trot at the expense of Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

12.00 pm: 

Cabinet reshuffle Monday evening

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will effect a cabinet reshuffle Monday evening, official sources said.

The swearing in of new ministers is scheduled for 5.30 p.m. at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The exit of the erstwhile allies DMK and the TMC, as well as the resignations of Pawan Kumar Bansal, Ashwani Kumar, C.P. Joshi and Ajay Maken, have created vacancies in the cabinet. 

11.30 am: 

PM takes oath as RS member

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today took oath as member of Rajya Sabha after being re-elected from Assam.

80-year-old Singh, who is the Leader of the Upper House, was recently elected a member of Rajya Sabha from Assam for the fifth consecutive term.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party leaders Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vohra and Rajv Shukla were among those present on the occasion.

Singh, who took oath in the name of God, told reporters that "It is a great opportunity for me to re-dedicate myself to the service of the people of Assam".

Lok Janshakti Party President Ram Vilas Paswan, SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav and a number of Rajya Sabha members were present at the function.

Another Congress member from Assam Santius Kujur also took oath today.

The election to the two Rajya Sabha seats from Assam had taken place on May 30 and Congress had won both the seats.

11.00 am: 

RBI leaves rates unchanged

A tumbling rupee and pressure on the current account deficit seems to have prevent the Reserve Bank of India from lowering policy rates on Monday despite softening inflation and decade-low economic growth.

The policy hold halts a cycle that has seen the central bank cut rates at each of its reviews in 2013.

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10.30 am: 

Prakash Raj turns farmer and buys a tractor!

Prakash Raj is one of the busiest actors doing films in multiple languages. He has no dates and is working round the clock in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi films. 

Now the latest we hear is that Prakash Raj is also busy in his farmhouses situated near Mahabalipuram and one near Hyderabad. Recently he purchased a tractor for his farmhouses! 

Prakash Raj tweeted: “Childhood dreams come true. I'm a proud owner of my own tractor in my farm. It’s pure bliss.”

10.00 am:

Pakistan hostess slapped, arrested for delaying serving water

A provincial leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) allegedly slapped a bus hostess for not serving water swiftly and later had her arrested for making death threat. 

The incident occurred as Nighat Sheikh, a member of Punjab provincial assembly of the PML-N, was travelling by a private bus from Islamabad to Lahore and asked bus hostess to bring her water. Though she complied but the leader turned furious over the delay and beat her up, online news agency reported on Sunday. 

9.30 am:

Jagan Reddy's judicial custody ends today  

Rediff: YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, whose judicial custody ends on Monday, will be produced before a Hyderabad court via video conferencing. 

The Kadapa MP and the YSAR Congress chief has been lodged in Chanchalguda prison since his arrest by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on corruption charges.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had on May 31 frozen fixed deposits worth more than Rs 34 crore of a media firm owned by Reddy in connection with the money laundering probe against him and others. 

With this fourth attachment order, the agency has attached more than Rs 300 crore worth of assets and properties belonging to Jagan and others in the disproportionate assets case being probed jointly by the ED and CBI. 

9.00 am: 

US not to rush to war in Syria: White House

The US will not rush to war in Syria as it did in the past in the region, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said Sunday.

"We have to be very discerning about what's in our interest and what outcome is best for us and the prices we're willing to pay to get to that place," reported Xinhua citing McDonough during a programme.

"We've rushed to war in this region in the past, we're not going to do it here," he added, alluding to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq by then president George W. Bush under the pretext that Baghdad had weapons of mass destruction which turned out to be false.

8.30 am: 

Saudi Arabia urges people to postpone Haj plans

Saudi Arabia has called upon foreign pilgrims to postpone their Haj plans this year due to ongoing expansion work at Makkah's Grand Mosque, Xinhua reported.

According to Arab News, this was highlighted through a series of announcements through the Holy Quran television channel from Makkah, the government advised pilgrims intending to perform Haj and Umrah this year to postpone their plans to the Grand Mosque.

The unprecedented move aims at preventing congestion and stampedes as well as ensuring the safety of pilgrimages.

The call came after the government's decision to reduce the number of foreign pilgrims by 20 per cent and domestic pilgrims by 50 per cent this year. Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has backed the measure, saying that it was taken in public interest.

According to official figure, 3.161 million pilgrims preformed Haj last year; if the illegal Haj pilgrims are taken into account, the figure could be around 4 million.

8.00 am: 

The much talked about reshuffle of the Union Cabinet will take place today, ahead of which C P Joshi and Ajay Maken stepped down as Cabinet ministers.

Both Joshi and Maken had handed over their resignations Saturday night. Their resignations were on Sunday accepted by President Pranab Mukherjee with immediate effect, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said.

The reshuffle will take place today evening, a Rashtrapati Bhawan spokesperson said.

Joshi, who was holding dual portfolios of Surface Transport and Highways and Railways, resigned following "directives" from the Congress high command, sources close to him said.

"Whatever new role the party assigns me I will perform that to the best of my ability," Joshi tweeted.

Maken, who was Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, has expressed his desire to work for the party. His resignation comes ahead of Assembly elections in Delhi later this year.

The reshuffle of the Council of Ministers is expected to be the last one in UPA-II with Lok Sabha elections less than a year away. This is the second reshuffle since October last year.

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