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Kapil Sibal named new communications minister

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has been given additional charge of the communications and information technology portfolio in place of the DMK’s A. Raja, who stepped down Sunday night in the wake of the alleged 2G spectrum scam.

Sibal, a lawyer by profession, will be the first member of the Congress party to hold the portfolio in 14 years. In the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government as also in its current tenure, the assignment was with the DMK.

‘Every ministry is a challenge. I will seek to perform in any assignment that is given to me. I don’t want to comment on the reason why this portfolio has been given,’ Sibal said when asked to comment on the circumstances in which he was assigned the portfolio.

The 62-year-old member of the Lok Sabha, who represents the Chandni Chowk constituency in the old quarters of the capital, also holds the charge of science and technology and earth science portfolios after Prithviraj Chavan was made the Maharashtra chief minister.

Educated at the prestigious St. Stephen’s College and the Harvard Law School, Sibal was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1998, after which he was earned a berth into the Lok Sabha twice — in 2004 and 2009.

After adamantly refusing to resign, Raja had quit the cabinet late Sunday over the 2G spectrum controversy, ending an opposition-Congress standoff that continues to paralyse parliament.

A day after Raja’s resignation, the opposition continued to demand a probe by a joint parliamentary committee, resulting in the adjournment of both houses of parliament again Monday.

The government has rejected the demand.

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