Manmohan Singh's UPA cabinet: Mamata out, Chiranjeevi in?

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Chiranjeevi
New Delhi/Hyderabad, Sept 21: The actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi is likely to be included in Manmohan Singh's UPA cabinet which is expected to see a reshuffle in coming seven days, informed sources on Friday, Sept 21.

If sources are to be believed then Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) supremo and Tollywood megastar along with former Rajya Sabha deputy chairman K Rahman might get cabinet berths at the Centre as several berths have been vacated following the demise of Vilasrao Deshmukh (Minister of Science and Technology and Minister of Earth Sciences) and resignations by Mukul Roy (former Railway Minister), A Raja (former Telecom Minister), Dayanidhi Maran (former Textile Minister) and many others.

There are ministers, such as Kapil Sibal, who have been holding more than one portfolios and could be relieved of the additional charges. Sibal is in-charge of Human Resource Development Ministry and Communications. However, government sources refused to comment on Rahul Gandhi who earlier had claimed that he would play a "bigger role" both in government and in Congress.

Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi are likely to meet in the capital on Sept 22 to discuss UPA cabinet reshuffle which is expected to take place soon.

The meeting comes a day after Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has withdrawn her support from the central government. Six TMC ministers resigned from central government and formally pulled out their support after meeting President Pranab Mukherjee in the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Friday.

The cabinet reshuffle is likely to see a change in one of the top four ministries at the Centre - Home, Finance, Defence and External Affairs. Of the four, two have already seen recent changes with a minor reshuffle in portfolios effected by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, compelled by the exit of Pranab Mukherjee from Finance Ministry to President post, with P Chidambaram moving from Home Ministry to Finance and Sushil Kumar Shinde from Power to Home.

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