New Delhi: Even as half of India was plunged into darkness after three of its power grids failed on Tuesday afternoon, the government notified the elevation of Sushil Kumar Shinde from Power Ministry to Home Ministry.
The move 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.
The power failure on Tuesday was India's worst ever. Three electricity grids connecting more than 20 states and the national capital collapsed on Tuesday, triggering a major power crisis across the country. The power crisis was the second in two days.
The blackout in 20 states across north, eastern and north-eastern India affected more than 60 crore people and severely impacted train services in six railway zones, bringing 300 trains to halt.