Indian prime minister shuffles Cabinet portfolios

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's embattled prime minister reshuffled his Cabinet on Tuesday, removing ministers tainted by allegations of corruption and mismanagement and promoting younger politicians.
The relatively minor changes are unlikely to restore confidence in a government that has been shaken by corruption scandals.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left the top ministries of finance, defense, external affairs and home affairs unchanged while shifting some low-key ministers and filling some vacancies.
But he accepted the resignation of Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran, who is under investigation for allegedly misusing his authority when he was telecommunications minister to coerce a telecom company owner to sell to a Malaysia-based corporation.
M.S. Gill, who was sports minister during India's scandal-plagued hosting of the Commonwealth Games last year, also resigned from the Cabinet. Earlier in the year he had been shifted from the sports ministry to the statistics ministry.
Jairam Ramesh, who held the sub-Cabinet position of environment minister, was promoted into the Cabinet but shifted to the relatively obscure though budget-rich ministry of rural development.
As environment minister, Ramesh regularly made front page news as he blocked the construction of several controversial mines, power plants and dams
Singh named Milind Deora, 35, junior minister of telecommunications but did not name a senior minister for the beleaguered ministry.
Apart from Maran, another former telecommunications minister, Andimuthu Raja, has been charged with fraud and forgery in a separate scandal related to the 2008 sale of cellular licenses.
Singh also filled the vacancy in the ministry of railways, which is reeling from a series of accidents that have killed more than 100 people in the last week alone.
Former minister Mamata Banerjee resigned from the post after being elected chief minister of West Bengal state in May. The position was filled Dinesh Trivedi, a member of her Trinamool Congress party, which is a coalition partner of Singh's government.
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