Antony heads new GoM on T

Antony heads  new GoM on T
Highlights

Antony heads new GoM on T. Barely two days after constituting a 10-member GoM (Group of Ministers) on the creation of Telangana State, the Union government on Tuesday reorganised the high-powered ministerial panel by dropping HRD Minister M Pallam Raju and bringing Defence Minister A K Antony, and also reducing the number of members to seven.

The GoM members have been carefully chosen, as all of them are dealing with the State and are familiar with the issues.

List of Ministers

1. Defence Minister A K Antony

2. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde

3. Finance Minister P Chidambaram,

4. Minister of Health Ghulam Nabi Azad,

5. Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily

6. Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh

7. MoS in PMO V Narayanasamy

Barely two days after constituting a 10-member GoM (Group of Ministers) on the creation of Telangana State, the Union government on Tuesday reorganised the high-powered ministerial panel by dropping HRD Minister M Pallam Raju and bringing Defence Minister A K Antony, and also reducing the number of members to seven.

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas M Veerappa Moily and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh are the members of the reconstituted GoM. Minister of State for Personnel and Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy will be the Special Invitee in the reconstituted GoM which will look into the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and formation of Telangana. Apart from Antony, the Union Ministers who were newly inducted in the GoM are Azad, Moily and Ramesh. The Union Ministers dropped from the GoM are Law Minister Kapil Sibal, Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, Road Transport Minister Oscar Fernandes, Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia besides Raju.

Raju hails from Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh and is opposed to creation of Telangana. He has submitted his resignation letter to Prime Minister as mark of protest and did not attend the Cabinet meeting yesterday. After the October 3 meeting of the Union Cabinet, which approved the creation of Telangana, government had announced that the GoM on Telangana will have ten Union Ministers as its members.

The GoM members have been carefully chosen, as all of them are dealing with the State and are familiar with the issues.

Special Correspondent

The reorganized Group of Ministers (GoM) carries experience, knowledge and credibility. The earlier list, given out by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had 10 names. Shinde was named its chairman.

But the one announced on Tuesday with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s approval would work under the leadership of Defence Minister AK Antony. It has only seven members making it easier to function.

HRD Minister Pallam Raju who met Congress President Sonia Gandhi a few days ago told the media that the latter had asked him to be on the GoM and continue in the Cabinet. But he announced his desire to step down along with other Union Ministers from Seemandhra region even after meeting Sonia. The names of Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Ministers Oscar Fernandez, Jyotiraditya Sindia, Harish Rawat, Kamalnath and Kapil Sibal have been omitted and known AP hands like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Veerappa Moily were brought in.

Shinde, Finance Minister Chidambaram and Minister of Personnel and PMO V Narayanaswamy figure in both the GoMs. Inducting Antony, a politician who is known for his integrity and seriousness, in place of Shinde, who is not considered to be a serious politician and who was found with foot in his mouth several times in the recent past, has given respect to the reconstituted GoM.

Jairam Ramesh, a Rajya Sabha Member from AP, is a highly talented person who knows the backward areas in the State like the back of his hand. His inclusion must be welcomed since he is known to be pro-poor, pro-welfare and pro-Dalits and Adivasis although he studies economics at Harward. He subscribes to Prof Amarthya Sen School. Azad and Moily were in charge of AP affairs at the AICC when they were General Secretaries. Narayana Swamy is aware of the problems in AP and he would act as a link between the GoM and the PM. Instead of going by the ministries which are related to the bifurcation issues, Prime Minister Singh seems to have opted for those who know the leaders (if not the people) and the State. The nitty-gritty of the problems in bifurcation would be handled anyway by senior bureaucrats. The GoM has been asked to submit its report in six weeks. But Antony, under whose chairmanship the group has to work, is still in hospital. He underwent surgery for prostate enlargement at Army Research and Referral Hospital a few weeks ago. In normal course, he should have been discharged after three days in hospital. He developed infection and it is not healing because of diabetes. Doctors are not sure when he would be out of the hospital. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi visited him on October 2, a day before the Union Cabinet endorsed the CWC decision, and spent over 15 minutes with him. The PM also called on him a couple of days back. Chidambaram is slated to visit the US in near future. It has to be watched how far the GoM would be able to keep to the deadline.

Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
More Stories


Top