New Delhi: In a minor reshuffle in the Union Cabinet, albeit involving top portfolios, senior Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde on Tuesday was allocated the Home Ministry.
P Chidambaram, who was the Home Minister took over as the Finance Minister.
Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily was given the additional charge of Power Ministry, a portfolio held by Shinde so far.
A communiqué to this effect was issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Sindhe, a 71-year-old Dalit leader from Maharashtra is a known loyalist of the Gandhi family. This his first tryst as the Home Minister.
He is also tipped to be among the favourites to be named as the Leader of the House in Lok Sabha.
66-year-old Chidambaram returns to the Finance Ministry after more than three-and-a-half years. He was moved from Finance Ministry to Home Ministry in December 2008 in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks.
Chidambaram has taken charge of the Finance Ministry at a time when the economy is witnessing sluggishness and a scare has been created among foreign investors by some decisions on tax issues.
He will have the challenge of restoring the confidence among the foreign investors besides taming inflation and ensuring return to high economic growth.
Moily was given the additional charge of Power Ministry on a day when three transmission grids — Northern, Eastern and North-eastern — collapsed leaving half of the 1.2 billion population of the country paralysed.
The reshuffle of portfolios is seen as a precursor to a major overhaul in the Union Cabinet possibly after the Monsoon Session, when Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi expected to be inducted.
The reshuffle of portfolios had been necessitated by the exit of Pranab Mukherjee, who held the portfolio of Finance Ministry before getting elected as the President.
Mukherjee resigned as the Finance Minister on June 26 and since then the Prime Minister himself was looking after the portfolio.