PM HAS ENOUGH MINISTERS IN US TO HOLD CABINET MEET
From Our Delhi correspondent
NEW DELHI: At least a dozen union ministers, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, are abroad and some more are slated to be off to attend conferences abroad in the coming days. To be honest, each one of them is abroad on business and not for pleasure.
A joke in the capital is that the PM, who is now in New York, can very well convene an emergency meeting of the Union Cabinet to discuss the crisis at home created by the letter bomb hitting Home Minister P Chidambaram. He won't have any problem of the corum. There are already seven ministers in the United States and the corum requires a minimum of six.
While Foreign Minister S M Krishna is with him in New York to hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, Mukherjee in Washington to address the India investment forum has three other ministers by his side: Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah.
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is also in the US attending the UN meeting on non-communicable diseases. On Tuesday, he attended a round-table of the health ministers of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations.
Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay went off to a 3-nation tour of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) on Wednesday, the day the PM and Mukherjee took off separately for the US. CIS consists mostly of the nations that were part of the erstwhile Soviet Union like Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, etc.
While Anand Sharma is busy attending the US-India economic opportunities and synergy summit in the US, his junior Jyotiraditya Scindia is off to Zimbabwe to promote investment and trade links. Human Resources Development and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal went off to Finland to address a summit on information and network security and then landed in Estonia to sign a couple of agreements.