Cabinet Reshuffle: PM meets Prez, Maran to be booted out?

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Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, Jul 1: The atmosphere in the UPA government is getting hot and hotter with the announcement of expected cabinet reshuffle. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday, Jul 1 rushed to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and explained the situation to Pratibha Patil, sources said.

In the meeting, which lasted for more than 45 minutes, the PM and the president discussed the current political situation in the nation and important international issues, Rashtrapati Bhavan sources informed.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had earlier confirmed that UPA government will have a cabinet reshuffle which is expected to occur before the monsoon session of the Parliament.

After the meeting between the PM and the president, many started speculating again about DMK leader and Union Textile Minister, Dayanidhi Maran's fate. Sources have so far claimed that Maran may be removed from his current position over his alleged role in 2G spectrum scam.

According to several media reports, Maran allegedly forced C Sivasankaran, owner of Aircel, to sell the telecom company to Maran's Malaysia-based friend T Ananda Krishnan in 2006. The reports added that Maran, during his tenure as a Communication Minister in UPA I government, issued spectrum licenses to Astro, a sister company of Maxis, soon after it purchased stake in Sun TV, which is owned by Maran's brother Kalanidhi Maran and family.

However, Maran has overruled all allegations against him as he has maintained claiming, "I have never had to force anyone to do business or to sell the business. And moreover, let me tell you, if someone feels forced, they could have always gone to the court."

Meanwhile, several government sources informed about the possible changes in the upcoming cabinet reshuffle. While Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is likely to get defence portfolio, Union External Minister SM Krishna can be removed from his position. There are also reports of Jyotiraditya Scindia and Raj Babbar making an entry into the Cabinet. With limitations of coalition politics influencing the allotment of ministries, BK Handique, MS Gill, Kanti Lal Bhuria, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Murli Deora are likely to be removed as ministers.

OneIndia News

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