Congress disapproves Kamat’s resignation (Lead)July 14th, 2011 - 1:41 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) The Congress Wednesday conveyed its displeasure over party leader Gurudas Kamat resigning from the council of ministers after being assigned a new portfolio that he apparently was unhappy with.
“These things should not have happened,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in response to queries on Kamat’s resignation and signals that union ministers Srikant Jena and Vilasrao Deshmukh were also peeved over the treatment given to them.
Jena was expecting to be elevated to cabinet rank while Deshmukh’s ministry has been changed twice in the past six months. Deshmukh has been moved from Rural Development Ministry to Science and Technology. Jena has been elevated as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Statistics and Programme Implementation. Sources said the two ministers did not take charge of their office Wednesday, when most other ministers figuring in the cabinet reshuffle assumed charge of their new responsibilities.
Kamat, who was Minister of State for Home before being given charge of the newly created Drinking Water and Sanitation ministry, did not attend the swearing in and resigned soon after the ceremony.
Asked about remarks of M. Verappa Moily, who was shifted from Law to Corporate Affairs, that vested interests had maligned his performance, Singhvi said the minister will explain his remarks to the prime minister if asked.
Singhvi said the party was fully behind the reshuffle which was prime minister’s prerogative and based on diverse factors.
“The cabinet is the prime minister’s prerogative. It’s a constitutional prerogative based on diverse factors. The party supports the decision and is fully behind the prime minister,” Singhvi said.
He added this may not be the last reshuffle before the polls in 2014.
“What the prime minister said was that he hoped there will be no major reshuffle before the polls. He later clarified that this should not be taken as the last reshuffle,” Singhvi said.
On Tuesday, after the cabinet reshuffle, the prime minister said: “As far as I am concerned, this is the last reshuffle before we go to the polls (in 2014). This exercise is as comprehensive as possible.”
He later added: “In life, there is no finality.”
The prime minister inducted eight new faces into his government, axed seven ministers and juggled some portfolios.
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Tags: cabinet rank, cabinet reshuffle, congress spokesman, corporate affairs, council of ministers, development ministry, displeasure, drinking water, gurudas kamat, manu, party leader, prerogative, programme implementation, resignation, rural development, science and technology, srikant jena, union ministers, vilasrao deshmukh, water and sanitation