New Delhi: Sushil Kumar Shinde on Wednesday took charge as the new Home Minister. Shinde met Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday morning.
Speaking to reporters, Shinde said that the Home Ministry is a big responsibility. "This is the second time that a dalit is being given the Home Ministry. I will work for the country. I understand that it is crucial to work closely with the states," he told reporters.
"Home is a critical ministry. We have to deal with a situation taking cognisance of the ground situation," he added.
On the Team Anna Hazare's movement against corruption, he said, "Anna's andolan is against corruption. We are with him on the issue but it has to be within a framework."
The move to give Home Ministry to Shinde shocked many with the Opposition calling it a "reward for his loyalty to the Gandhi family".
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that instead of being hauled up for the what was the country's worst power failure, the minister who was in charge of the department was being rewarded with promotion.
In fact, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is said to have written a letter to Shinde last year saying that he was not doing enough to improve the country's power situation.
Shinde is also seen by many as a weak political candidate. In fact, in 2004, despite winning electoral battles, he was replaced by Vilasrao Deshmukh as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra as many within the Congress considered him politically ineffective.