Union Cabinet re-shuffle: DMK ministers seen as failures

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Congress, which intends to re-shuffle the Union Cabinet with the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in mind, is unhappy with the functioning of the DMK ministers as it feels that the representatives of the Dravidian party are not even willing to learn the ropes of the trade, let alone work effectively.

DMK has one cabinet rank minister in M.K. Alagiri and four ministers of state (MoS) — Palanimanickam, Jagathrakshakan, Gandhiselvan and D. Napoleon. Two Cabinet ministers A. Raja and Dayanidhi Maran were forced to resign in the light of the 2-G spectrum scam.

According to sources, Congress feels chemicals and fertiliser minister M.K. Alagiri is not capable of facing Parliament and therefore leaves it to his deputy Shrikant Jena to handle all issues related to the ministry in both the Houses. He doesn’t venture to give his views even in cabinet meetings chaired by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, sources said.

Napoleon, who is MoS in the ministry of social justice and empowerment, strangely, visits India only when Parliament is in session. Otherwise, he resides in US, with his family, sources said.

Minister of state for information and broadcasting Jagathrakshakan does not attend office regularly, while MoS (finance) Palanimanickam and MoS (health) Gandhiselvan don’t come to Parliament regularly, sources added. Besieged by various scams, the Congress is desperately trying to shed its image of a lackadaisical government that even sacrificed economic reforms at the altar of political expediency.

In this, the grand old party is looking for performance from its alliance partners as well. Besides, the Congress from now on will have to contend with the absence of its chief trouble-shooter Pranab Mukherjee in the Cabinet.

With the polls just 22 months away, the Congress leadership expects its alliance partners in the Cabinet to pull up their socks for the greater good of the coalition, sources said.

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