New Delhi, May 22 (ANI): President Pratibha Patil administered oath of office and secrecy to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with 19 Cabinet ministers.
The 76-year-old, soft-spoken economist is the first Prime Minister since post-independence after Jawaharlal Nehru to be returned to office after completing a full term.
Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, A K Antony, P Chidambaram, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, former Chief Ministers S M Krishna, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Veerappa Moily were inducted in the Cabinet.
Kamal Nath, Sushilkumar Shinde, S Jaipal Reddy, Meira Kumar, Vayalar Ravi, Murli Deora, Kapil Sibal, B K Handique, Ambika Soni, Anand Sharma and C P Joshi also took oath as Cabinet Ministers.
Mukherjee is likely to retain finance portfolio, which he got as additional charge towards the end of the tenure of the outgoing government.
The names of Krishna and Kamal Nath are being mentioned for External Affairs Ministry. Chidambaram and Antony are expected to retain home and defence respectively.
Today’s swearing-in would be followed by an expansion of the Council of Ministers on May 26. The expansion would include Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State (MoS) with independent charge as well as other Ministers of State.
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Mukul Wasnik, Vilas Muttemwar figure in the list of names, who will likely find place on Tuesday in the expanded Cabinet.
The Congress would also be looking to bring the DMK around by then so as to also include its representatives in the Cabinet.
The grand swearing-in ceremony, which started around 6:30 p.m., took place in Ashoka Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan where President Pratibha Patil administered the oath of office and secrecy to Dr Singh and his council of ministers.
The first session of the newly constituted Lok Sabha is expected to begin from June 2, and is likely to continue till June 10. (ANI)