Virbhadra Singh named in Union cabinet



Shimla: The suspence over inclusion of Virbhadra Singh in the Union cabinet ended this afternoon with his name appearing in the second list of cabinet ministers. This would be for the first time that Himachal will have two ministers at the Centre, As Anand Sharma, a Rajya Sabha member from Himachal was earlier chosen for a Cabinet berth, it was seen as the end of the road for Virbhadra considering that a tiny state like Himachal, with only four MPs in Lok Sabha, was unlikely to get any better deal.

But the Congress high command seems to have decided to respect Virbhadra’s seniority, considering his five tenures as chief minister of the state. According to senior journalist RC Lohumi, the Union government probably added Virbhadra’s name considering that Aanand  Sharma’s tenure in the Rajya Sabha is about to expire in November this year, after which he will have to seek election from some Congress-ruled state, again leaving Himachal with only one minister.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today added 14 cabinet ministers and 45 ministers of state to his council of ministers. The cabinet ministers include Virbhadra Singh, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Farooq Abdullah, Dayanidhi Maran, M K Azhagari, A. Raja of the DMK, Mallikarjun Kharge, Kumari Selja, Subodh Kant Sahay, MS Gill, GK Vasan, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Mukul Wasnik and Kantilal Bhuria.

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  1. The announcement of Virbhadra Singh as The Steel Mintier has come as a disappointment for the state. It seems that He's been only inducted into the Cabinet because of mere compulsion and not on merit. The portfolio not only comes as a setback for Mr Singh but for the state as well. The only time, someone from Himachal held a key portfolio at the Centre was Sukh Ram, who though in spite of getting mired into controversies and irregularities in handling tenders, took the communication and IT to heights in the state. His contribution to communication is unparalleled in the state.

    Some key portfolios that come to my mind that would have helped the state, in order of beneficence to the state:

    1. Tourism

    2. Industries

    3. New and Renewable Energy (even though not a key portfolio, but would have helped the state).

    4. Railways (THough an unlikely one, when all others had ben eyeing it)

    5. Forest

    6. HRD

    7. Sports

    Ministries like Coal and Steel are better off for MPS from Jharkhand and Bihar, where these industries are. Hope when any reshuffle happens, Virbhadra Singh would be able to get a good portfolio.

  2. while there is some substance in what Mr. vividhaditya had to say, still, there is need to

    though there is substance in what Mr. Vividhaditya has said, but i feel that a holistic view is required to be taken in the matter in view of the election results.again the 'compulsion' for induction of mr. Virbhadra Singh (as mr. vividhyaditya puts it)in my view stems from the intrinsic merit that Mr. Singh possesses . one can always hope for better things to come.

  3. By bagging the departments like Commerce and Indsutry, Anand Sharma has proved that he is the first choice of the Congress High Command especially the Gandhi family. It will be interesting to see how Virbhadra manages the things under the shadows of Ananad Sharma………….

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