New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who expanded his Council of Ministers earlier this week, wants his Cabinet colleagues to distribute work to their juniors.
The strength of the NDA government, which was 45, has now gone up to 66 after the Prime Minister expanded his Council of Ministers and reshuffled portfolios on Sunday.
Of this, 27 including the Prime Minister are of Cabinet rank, 13 Ministers of State with independent charge and 26 Ministers of State.
Chaudhary Birender Singh, who took over as the Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation and Panchayti Raj, today said he would implement Modi's directive in a proper way and allocate powers vested in him to his junior ministers.
"I and my three colleagues will sit together every Wednesday and discuss issues related to the ministries. I will ensure that ministers of state in my ministries enjoy the same power as those vested in me," Singh told reporters here.
Singh has three juniors in the Ministry.
While Sudarshan Bhagat is the Minister of State for Rural Development, Nihal Chand is the Minister of State for Panchayati Raj and Ram Kripal Yadav is the Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation.
"We will see that our Ministers of State are equally empowered," Chaudhary said.
Several Ministers of State in the erstwhile UPA had complained to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about hesitance of cabinet ministers to allocate work to their juniors.
As Modi's Council of Ministers got ready to be sworn in on May 26, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had sought to put cold water on the enthusiasm of a host of to-be Ministers of State, saying "being MoS is like standing in a cemetery".
"Advice to some being sworn in today: Being MoS is like standing in a cemetery -- there's a lot of people under you but no one is listening!" Tharoor had said in a tweet.
Tharoor was the Minister of State for HRD in the Manmohan Singh Ministry.