Council of ministers a mix of experience and energy: PM

May 28th, 2009 - 6:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday said his 78-member council of ministers was a mixture of “experience” and “energy” and that the delay in the second round of induction was because he wanted to be “thorough”.
“We wanted to strike the right balance, a mix of experience and energy,” the prime minister told reporters after the swearing in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in which 14 cabinet ministers and 45 ministers of state took oath.

When asked specifically what contributed to the delay in the second round of expansion, after 19 cabinet ministers had taken oath in the first round May 22, he said: “Picking a cabinet is a thorough exercise.”

Discussing why there was no representation from Uttar Pradesh in the 33-member cabinet, the prime minister said several considerations came into play, including the “availability of talent”.

Manmohan Singh also said that “there were other avenues of public service” to accommodate senior party leaders who had been left out in his council of ministers.

The notable omissions in the cabinet list include H.R. Bhardwaj, Shivraj Patil, Arjun Singh, Sis Ram Ola, P.R. Kyndiah and Saifuddin Soz.

Talking on the terrorist strike in Lahore that killed over 20 people, Manmohan Singh hoped Pakistan would join hands in fighting the spectre of terror that had become a global phenomenon.

“I sympathise with the people of Pakistan. This is a time in which all countries must cooperate to defeat terrorism.”

Manmohan Singh added that details of his trip to Russia next month for the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) Summit were yet to be firmed up.

He is only the second prime minister after Jawaharlal Nehru to get a second consecutive term in office.

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