New Delhi: Here are some of the new faces inducted in the Union Cabinet of Ministers:
- Beni Prasad Verma, Member of Parliament from UP, has been made the Minister of State ( Independent Charge), Steel. Verma thrived on anti-Congress activism for a greater part of his political career, returns to the Union Council of Ministers after a gap of over a decade. Seventy-year-old Verma, a prominent Kurmi (backward) leader from Uttar Pradesh, was Union minister for Communications between 1996 and 1998, during the United Front regime.
- Ashwani Kumar, a Punjab MP, is Minister of State, Parliamentary Affairs, Science and Technology. A ministerial berth for the Rajya Sabha member is seen as an effort to give more representation to Punjab, which goes to polls next year. Fifty eight-year-old Kumar, who joins a growing list of lawyer-turned ministers in the UPA-II Cabinet, returns to the Union government after a gap having had a stint in the Congress-led alliance's first term.
- KC Venugopal from Kerala becomes Minister of State, Power