Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday reshuffled his cabinet, dropping seven ministers and shifting Jairam Ramesh to the rural development ministry from the environment, where he had held up multi-billion dollar industrial projects with the strict enforcement of regulations.
The shift gives Ramesh a nominally more powerful position in Singh's inner circle.
The other changes in the cabinet were perceived as minor, as top positions in the finance, external affairs, defense and home ministries remained unchanged, the Hindustan Times reported.
Notably, despite a minor scandal over another Trinamool Congress member's refusal to visit the site of a deadly train crash in Assam earlier this week, party colleague Dinesh Tivedi was named the new railway minister. The post had been vacant since Trinamool Congress party supremo Mamata Banerjee abandoned the position to take the helm as the chief minister of West Bengal.
Also worth mention is the complete exclusion of Singh's south Indian allies from the Tamil Nadu-based DMK -- whose MPs have been at the center of corruption allegations related to the so-called 2G spectrum scam.