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Congress snubs new Modi Cabinet, calls it a senior citizens' club

9 ministers were inducted into the Union Cabinet on Sunday

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Manish Tewari
Congress leader Manish Tewari

The Congress on Sunday took a dig at the induction of four former bureaucrats in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet, saying it showed he did not trust his political colleagues.

Congress spokesperson also described the nine new ministers as a "senior citizens' club", pointing out that while the median age of a person in the country was 27 years, the average age of the new entrants was 60.44 years.

Talking to the media, Tewari claimed Modi was "strangely disconnected" from the exercise.

"It seems that (president) is the prime minister," he said, referring to reports that claimed Shah summoned ministers and asked them to resign before the rejig.

He also termed the expansion "maximum government and minimum governance".

The saw the induction of nine new faces. Among them were four former bureaucrats, two of whom -- former IAS officer Alphons Kannanthanam and former diplomat -- are not Members of Parliament.

Ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner Satypal Singh and former Union Home secretary have also been sworn in.

"This reflects that the prime minister does not trust his political colleagues," Tewari said.

He also accused the of including in the Cabinet a "doctor beater" with a motive to "communalise" Karnataka, ahead of the state assembly elections next year.

Earlier this year, a video surfaced in which Anantkumar Hegde, who was made minister of state in Skill Development, was seen allegedly beating up doctors in Karwar.

On the removal of Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Kalaraj Mishra as ministers for Skill Development and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises respectively, Tewari said the ouster reflected an acceptance of the Modi government's "gigantic failure".

Referring to the elevation of Nirmala Sitharaman, who was promoted to the Cabinet rank and put in charge of the crucial Defence ministry, Tewari said, "We hope she does not handle the Defence ministry the way she did the Commerce ministry, which saw a crippling decline of exports-imports during her tenure".

The former Union minister termed the elevation in the rank of Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi "mere tokenism" and said the BJP's attitude towards Muslims was "well known".

On Uma Bharti being divested of the Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation portfolio, he quipped, referring to the title of a Hindi film and song, "Ram teri Ganga maili ho gayi -- kepaapdhotedhote(The Ganga has already been contaminated by the sins of the BJP).

First Published: Sun, September 03 2017. 18:38 IST