S Jaipal Reddy an affable and a highly able minister who earlier handled the portfolio of the Petroleum Minister had been moved on to be the Science and Technology ministry, which politically could be considered a demotion of sorts. This decision to move him from the high-profile Petroleum ministry is raising eyebrows among the Congress members and other political circles. Many of them also consider this due to his recent run-ins with the corporate interests.
Reddy is expected to swear into his new position of the Science and Technology minister today on Monday.
Yogendra Yadav of IAC, India Against Corruption said that the minister deserved the change, calling it a punishment for his rebuttal of Reliance. The new change has also had its mental impact on Reddy after his well wishers called it an insult to him.
Since being the petroleum minister since Jan 2011, he had been considered the repulsion force that could suppress the unstoppable influence of the dominant interests.
He was critically blamed for his harassment meted out to the private sector. They had also accused him of ousting several officers who were in favor of the private firms. His socialist opinions and instincts had brewed grudge even from the PMO's office.
It is to be noted that he had not approved the $7.2 billion stake-sale of Reliance Industries Limited with Bharat Petroleum and sought the intervention of the Cabinet to clear the deal. Reliance felt suppressed and flabbergasted after the ministry, which could clear the deal on its own, sought the decision of the cabinet.
Veerappa Moily was appointed as the country's new petroleum and natural gas minister, replacing Jaipal Reddy.