This was the third cabinet rejig since the UPA II government came to power in 2009 and possibly the last one before the 2014 general elections.
Experts said the reshuffle was expected to give a facelift to the Congress, hit by allegations of corruption in the past one year.
But the list of 22 new inductions into the Manmohan Singh cabinet showed there were hardly leaders who could get votes for the party in the series of assembly elections and the general elections.
"It is an exercise in vain...The event did not match up the hype that was created about it," political commentator N Bhaskara Rao told IANS.
"The Congress party needed a facelift but I don't think there is any political message in this reshuffle...It was mere administrative exercise," he said.
According to Sandeep Shastri of the International Academy of Creative Teaching in Bangalore, the reshuffle was "old wine in a new bottle with a new cork".
Shastri said the elevation of junior ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot with independent charges of power and corporate affairs ministries was a "good change" but showed an "incremental approach" of the Congress.
"The Congress could have been bolder...It lost an opportunity," Shastri told IANS.
However, Nisar ul Haq, who teaches political science at Jamia Millia Islamia, said the reshuffle was aimed at rejuvenating both the Congress and the government.
"Giving the railways portfolio to Pawan Kumar Bansal and parliamentary affairs to Kamal Nath is a good step," Haq told IANS.
He said the induction of West Bengal MP Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary as junior railway minister was a clear indication to Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who quit the UPA over economic reforms.
He said making Salman Khurshid the external affairs minister was also a good sign.
While appreciating the independent charge of information and broadcasting ministry to former Congress spokesman Manish Tewari, Rao said the move would not benefit the party with any votes.
New Delhi: The much-awaited union Cabinet reshuffle Sunday was an "exercise in vain" and "failed to give a political message" to the people, feel experts.
First Published: Sunday, October 28, 2012, 19:01