July 12, 2016 / 4:27 PM / in a year

Two Indian ministers resign a week after Modi's cabinet expansion

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Two Indian ministers resigned on Tuesday, a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi expanded his powerful inner circle to improve the efficiency of his administration.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) 41st annual Leadership Summit in Washington, U.S., June 7, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

India’s president, on Modi’s advice, has accepted the resignations of Najma A. Heptulla, the minister of minority affairs, and G.M. Siddeshwara, the junior minister of heavy industries, the government said in a statement.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, a junior minister in the minority affairs ministry, has been given independent charge of the ministry, while Babul Supriyo, a singer-turned-politician, would take up the junior minister’s portfolio in the heavy industries ministry, the statement added.

The government did not give a reason for the decision.

Modi inducted 19 new ministers into his cabinet last Tuesday to bolster his two-year-old administration but drew criticism that he was backtracking on a promise of lean government.

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Gareth Jones

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