Debating India

Manmohan reconstitutes states panel

Saturday 26 June 2004

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday re-constituted the Inter-State Council, nominating railway minister Laloo Prasad Yadav and four others to the body even as latter’s friend-turned-rival, steel minister Ram Vilas Paswan will have to rest content as a permanent invitee.

Yadav’s appointment, if of only a symbolic value, is likely to contribute to the growing stature gap between the two Bihar leaders who have fallen out over the railway ministry after having forged a pre-poll alliance.

This marks the second instance where Laloo Yadav has pipped Paswan to the post. Earlier, he made it to the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs.

The differential treatment is sure to gall Paswan who insists on being treated as no less than Laloo Yadav. All the more so, because he is smarting under Laloo Yadav’s reneging on his "promise" to leave one RS berth for a nominee of the steel minister.

Apart from Laloo Yadav, the Prime Minister’s new nominated team to the state council includes, home minister Shivraj Patil, finance minister P Chidambaram, law minister H R Bhardwaj, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, road transport minister T R Baalu.

Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee, HRD minister Arjun Singh, Water resources minister Priyaranjan Das Munshi and Paswan, will be permanent invitees.

See online : The Times of India

P.S.

in The Times of India, Saturday, June 26, 2004.

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