New Delhi, Oct 24: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will appoint a new External Affairs Minister, a post which has been lying vacant for almost a year, during a minor ministerial reshuffle this evening.
In all likelihood, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee would be shifted to the Ministry of External Affairs to fill the vacancy caused by K Natwar Singh's resignation in the wake of the Volcker committee's report on the Iraqi Oil-for-Food scam.
Rashtrapati Bhavan sources said the swearing in ceremony will take place at 1930 hrs.
The Prime Minister is also expected to fill the vacancies caused by the resignation of Labour Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao of the TRS and his party colleague A Narendra, who was a Minister of State for Rural development.
RJD's Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav had also quit as the Minister of State for Water Resources.
The Prime Minister will name a Defence Minister if Mr Mukherjee gets the new portfolio.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi held discussions with Dr Singh yesterday on the possible choices of the new ministers.