The Manmohan Singh government will soon have a new minister to handle the key portfolios of agriculture and food. Sharad Pawar, who met the Prime Minister this week, sought his transfer to a relatively hassle free portfolio. NCP Supremo and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has not been keeping good health for some time. After his meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Sharad Pawar told reporters that he wants a reduced workload as he is keen to devote more time to cricket and party activities. Sharad Pawar met the Prime Minister and requested him to reduce his “burden”. Sharad Pawar, who took over as ICC president last week, has been under attack for his failure to rein in food prices. His party, which has nine members in the Lok Sabha, controls three important departments. While Sharad Pawar handles Agriculture and Food, his colleague Praful Patel is in charge of Civil Aviation. Many in the government are of the view that the food and agriculture should not be controlled by the same individual. There has to be a healthy competition between the two ministries that deal with conflicting interests – that of the consumer and the producer. And who doesn’t know that Sharad Pawar has been accused of often intervening on behalf of the producer much to the detriment of the consumer. The prime minister will take a call on this soon. Observers feel that Sharad Pawar should have given up the crucial portfolios of food and agriculture long ago because despite hailing from a family with agricultural background, Sharad Pawar failed to do justice to both the departments ever since he adorned the role of the Union Food and Agricultural Minister. Bureau report – NMTV News.
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