Sibal is given law, Joshi gets railway

Communications minister Kapil Sibal could play the role of “trouble-shooter” in his additional role as law and justice minister at a time when the Opposition is making Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the main target of attack ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The PM gave road transport and highways minister C.P. Joshi additional charge of the railway ministry and Mr Sibal additional charge of the law ministry. It is unclear whether Mr Sibal and Mr Joshi will retain these additional portfolios till the general election or if full-fledged ministers will be appointed for them.
President Pranab Mukherjee, meanwhile, accepted the resignations of Mr Ashwani Kumar and Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal as law minister and railway minister, respectively.
Mr Sibal, an eminent jurist, would have to handle the coal block allocations case delicately as it may become the non-Congress parties’ main election plank. He was earlier involved in the negotiations with Anna Hazare on drafting the Lokpal Bill and with Baba Ramdev on the issue of black money.
The PM is comfortable with him, as he is with finance minister P. Chidambaram, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid and information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari, who are known for their legal knowledge and crisis management skills.

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