India’s new Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Wednesday claimed to have been a successful power minister and said his current job will be critical and tough.
Incidentally, Shinde was rewarded with the plum and the most important post Tuesday when 19 states of the country faced a complete power blackout.
“I can claim that I was the successful power minister in the country. We have made India self-sufficient in power generation,” Shinde told the CNN-IBN news channel.
He said action would be taken on the cause of grid failure after the three-member panel submitted its report.
Shinde said it was the duty of the states to add capacity in power generation and the central government was to supplement it.
He also said states which overdrew power and crippled the grid would be penalised.
Shinde, a Gandhi family loyalist, thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi for making him (a Dalit) the home minister.
“I’m loyal to the Gandhi family right from the days of Indiraji. Rarely such opportunity is given to Dalits or minority. We are grateful,” he said.
Shinde, who has risen from the rank of a police sub-inspector to be the home minister of India, said: “Let us see. I’ve not earlier handled home ministry. But I’ve seen the situation as the administrator of Maharashtra for 18 years and also as the governor of Andhra Pradesh.”
He listed Maoism, terrorism, the conflict between religions, upliftment of Dalits and border infiltration as the major issues before him.
He also said the equation between the central government and states should be simple and cordial.
“I’m part of the cabinet and am aware of the situation in the country… There are a number of problems in the country. We must have a very cordial relationship with the states,” Shinde told reporters.
“Our relationship with the states should be simple,” said Shinde, who was appointed home minister Tuesday.