New Delhi: Congress on Sunday hailed the reshuffle in the Union Cabinet as a "meaningful change" giving representation to both youth and experience and hoped it will further "improve" the functioning of the government.
"There are a total 22 new appointments, of which 7 are Cabinet Ministers. This is called a big change, a meaningful change.. When a big change takes place, it is expected that it will improve the functioning of the government.
"The reshuffle has given representation to both the old and experienced people as well as the young and new faces," party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.
Dwivedi downplayed the contention that the reshuffle has been done keeping in mind the next general elections in 2014.
"Reshuffle is to run government. Everything should not be seen from the prism of fighting the next elections," he said.
Replying to questions about the reshuffle giving greater representation to youths, the AICC general secretary said there are people from all age groups in the government and that "Congress has always made efforts to ensure that the new generation gets maximum representation".
Asked about the exit of some of the ministers amid speculation of their being drafted for the party work, Dwivedi said such interchange of responsibilities from party to government and vice versa is normal.
He also dismissed contentions that some people have been ignored in the exercise, saying it is wrong to presume that anybody has been ignored if some people continue working in the party or some in the government have quit to work for the party as the party is a "big ocean" which accommodates all.