Vayalar Ravi ‘happy’ to retain overseas Indian affairs ministry (Lead)

May 29th, 2009 - 12:30 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) Veteran Congress leader Vayalar Ravi Thursday said he was happy to retain the charge of the overseas Indian affairs ministry.
“I’m very happy to come back to the same ministry,” Vayalar Ravi told IANS after the announcement of portfolios late in the evening.

Ravi, who held this important portfolio in the previous cabinet too, said he would continue to protect of the interests of Indians abroad.

The 72-year-old politician from Kerala, who took oath as cabinet minister last week, said the cabinet berth was a reward for his performance as the minister for overseas Indian affairs in the previous government.

A.K. Antony, also from Kerala, retained the key defence ministry in the first round of portfolio allocation last week.

For the first time in its history, Kerala has got six of its representatives in the council of ministers - two cabinet ministers and four ministers of state (MoS).

Other ministers from the state are Shashi Tharoor, E. Ahamed, Mullappally Ramachandran and K.V. Thomas.

Former UN undersecretary-general Tharoor, who won the election from Thiruvananthapuram, will be MoS in the external affairs ministry.

Ahamed, Muslim League leader and former MoS in the external affairs ministry, is now MoS in railways ministry.

Mullappally Ramachandran is MoS in the home Ministry and Thomas is MoS in the agriculture ministry and the consumer affairs, food and public distribution ministry.

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