Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Sunday attacked the retention of Union Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh and Health Minister J.P. Nadda in the Union Cabinet, saying both the areas are in “distress and crisis”. “Agriculture in distress, Health in crisis, but ministers remain,” said Chidambaram on Twitter. “Amidst all the trumped up excitement, will someone please note 13 more children died yesterday in Gorakhpur?” he said in a another tweet.
Chidambaram also said: “Welcome Mr. Prabhu to Industry (manufacturing in doldrums) and Commerce (exports stagnant). Best wishes.” Minister of State for Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman was on Sunday promoted and appointed as Defence Minister in a surprise move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who elevated three others to the cabinet and brought in nine new faces including four former bureaucrats in a reshuffle-cum-expansion of his ministry based on performance. Power Minister Piyush Goyal, also promoted from Minister of State with independent charge to the Cabinet, got the Railways portfolio, from which Suresh Prabhu was shifted to Commerce and Industry. Prabhu had offered to quit after a major rail accident in Uttar Pradesh claimed 23 lives last month.