Cabinet Reshuffle: The Ministers start sulking

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Srikant Jena
New Delhi, Jul 12: With the UPA announcing their new and improved Cabinet following the reshuffle, there seem to be more brickbats than bouquets in the pipeline. Apart from this, there are sulking people within the Cabinet who have expressed apprehensions on the portfolio allotted to them. They include Srikant Jena and Gurudas Kamat.

Srikant Jena who is the Minister of State with an independent charge of Statistics, Programme Implementation and Chemicals and Fertilisers is understood to be not happy with the portfolio allotted to him. He is a four-time Lok Sabha MP and senior Congress leader from Orissa. He had handled a Cabinet ranking portfolio in the United Front government in the mid-1990s. Sources have revealed that he was promised a Cabinet berth.

There were strong indications that following the stepping down of Dayanidhi Maran as the Union Textile Minister, MK Alagiri would be elevated to that post. With Jena touted to bag the role of Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers portfolio, the announcement invariably caused him disappointment. The other reason for the irk is that Beni Prasad Verma who was his colleague in the United Front government as a Minister of State managed to bag a Cabinet rank this time around.

Gurudas Kamat, who has been given the responsibility of Drinking Water and Sanitation in the capacity of Minister of State also seem to be unhappy with his portfolio allocation that he will not attend the swearing-in ceremony scheduled to be held on Tuesday at 5 pm.

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