RTTNews - Ending suspense 11 days after the outcome of India's parliamentary elections, the line-up of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's jumbo cabinet was completed Wednesday.
Besides the first list of 19 cabinet ministers, he chose 59 more ministers to his cabinet today, increasing the total strength of the Council of Ministers to 79.
Of these, 33 ministers will have cabinet rank. Seven will be ministers of state with independent charge and 38 Ministers of State.
The Prime Minister's Office said Manmohan Singh sent the names of the new ministers to President Pratibha Patil for inclusion in the council of ministers.
14 Cabinet ministers in the second list will take oath at 11.30 a.m. local time Thursday along with 45 junior ministers at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan (presidential house). Reports said their portfolios would be announced after the swearing in ceremony.
The Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance won a mandate in the elections held in April-May. The coalition now has an effective strength of 322 in the 543-member lower house after the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) sent letters of support directly to the President.
With this, Manmohan Singh has tackled the challenging task of naming an all-inclusive council of ministers accommodating six political allies.
The Congress leadership held days of intense negotiations to induct leaders of key UPA constituents as ministers.
The cabinet ministers chosen Wednesday are: Vilasrao Deshmukh, Virbhadra Singh, Farooq Abdullah, Mallikarjun Kharge, M.K. Alagiri, Dayanidhi Maran, A. Raja, M.S. Gill, Kumari Selja, Subodh Kant Sahay, G.K. Vasan, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Kantilal Bhuria and Mukul Wasnik.
Shashi Tharoor, a former United Nations diplomat, has been included in Manmohan Singh's team in a junior rank. Hailing from the southern state of Kerala, he was India's official candidate for the post of Secretary-General in 2006.
Manmohan Singh was sworn in as Prime Minister for a second consecutive term Friday along with senior Congress party leaders who were already allotted the key ministries in his cabinet.
Of the 59 ministers to be inducted Thursday, 42 belong to the Congress, taking the total number of its ministers to 60, including Dr Manmohan Singh.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) will have seven ministers each in the council, while the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has three and one each for the National Conference and the Muslim League.
Faced with the challenge of revving up the economy, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said the new government's budget would be presented in the first week of July.
The Indian stock market experienced an all-day long upward trend Wednesday. The Bombay Stock Exchange Index rose 520 points crossing 14000 by the end of the day.
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