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No overhaul of Singh's team in Indian Cabinet reshuffle

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • He says a reshuffle would take place after the federal budget in February
  • No changes were effected in the key home, defense, finance and external affairs ministries
  • Coalition government is facing massive criticism for its handling of endemic corruption
  • Opposition parties step up their attacks
RELATED TOPICS
  • India
  • Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, India (CNN) -- India's prime minister carried out no overhaul of his Cabinet as he realigned his team in the face of scathing criticism of his handling of corruption in the government.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh told reporters an expansive reshuffle would take place after the federal budget in February.

The exercise Wednesday mostly involved switching of portfolios, such as sports, civil aviation, oil and corporate affairs.

"PM shuffles same old pack," read a headline in the Times of India newspaper.

"Manmohan rings in the old," wrote the Indian Express.

No changes were effected in the key home, defense, finance and external affairs ministries.

In its second term, the prime minister's coalition government is facing massive criticism for its handling of endemic corruption.

Opposition parties have stepped up their attacks on Singh, hailed as the father of India's economic reforms, since the country's main auditor reported last year that a sale of second-generation wireless spectrum two years ago had been carried out at below-market prices.

According to the government audit, the treasury lost up to $31 billion from under-valuation of airwaves.

The alleged scam, seen as the biggest to hit India in recent times, has forced the country's telecom minister, A. Raja, to step down.

Raja, a member of a key regional ally of Singh's Congress party, denies the charges.

But opposition lawmakers are seeking a larger probe into the 2008 phone-license awards and accuse Singh of having not acted swiftly.

India's prime minister, on his part, insists the wrongdoers will be punished.

The damning audit report came on the heels of allegations of massive fraud in sports and real-estate.

Investigators are probing complaints of financial malfeasance in the Commonwealth Games that India hosted in October.

Several politicians, military officials and bureaucrats are the subjects of a separate inquiry for allegedly taking apartments meant for war-widows.

 
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