UPA to rope in estranged allies into new cabinet

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Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, May 18: With the power still in its hands and bolstered by an overriding victory, UPA is now all set to decide on its Cabinet portfolios. While Montek Singh is being seen as a potential Union Finance Minister, a cabinet portfolio seems to be chasing Rahul Gandhi.

The process of choosing the cabinet will not be tough for the Congress party with 206 MPs within the party. Even though it needs fewer allies now, UPA has vowed to and taken steps to bring back its old allies like Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mulayam Singh in spite of few congress leaders wanting to teach them a lesson for betraying the party.

However, Lalu will have to fight to regain the Railway Ministry as Mamata Banerjee is likely to contest for it. While on the other hand, Pranab Mukherjee (External Affairs), P Chidambaram (Home) and AK Antony (Defence) will probably retain their portfolios.

As of now reports suggest that the Congress would want to include Murli Deora, Veerappa Moily, Vyalar Ravi, Salman Khurshid, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kamal Nath, SM Krishna, Ambika Soni, Anand Sharma, Bhakta Charan Das and Kapil Sibal in the Cabinet. Along with them, allies like Farooq Abdullah, Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel, Mamata Banerjee, Dayanidhi Maran, HD Kumaraswamy and MK Azhagiri may also be seen holding cabinet berths.

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