Durbar Hall was stately setting for cabinet expansion

New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) The stately charm of Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Durbar Hall was an appropriate setting for the cabinet expansion of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government Monday as eight ministers took oath in its hallowed precincts that has seen history being made.

Durbar Hall has great historical significance as the first government of free India was sworn in its precincts, Rashtrapati Bhavan officials said.

The almost circular hall with high domes is used for major state functions, including ceremonies, to confer the Padma awards.

Five of the eight ministers opted to take the oath in English.

Cabinet ministers Oscar Fernandes (road transport and highways) and K.S. Rao (textiles) took their oaths in English as did as ministers of state Santosh Chowdhary (health), E.M.S. Natchiappan (commerce and industry) and J.D. Seelam (Finance).

Cabinet ministers Sis Ram Ola (labour) and Girija Vyas (housing and poverty alleviation) and Minister of state Manik Rao Gavit (social justice and empowerment) took oaths in Hindi.

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