Cabinet reshuffle: PM, Sonia meet, ministers' deeds scanned

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Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Jul 9: It seems that that the prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi are facing a hectic time schedule as UPA government is all set for its union cabinet reshuffle. On Saturday, Jul 9, the PM and Sonia Gandhi met for the third time since their announcement of a reshuffle.

Secret government sources said that all decision on the cabinet reshuffle will be taken on Monday, Jul 11, though earlier it was speculated that the crucial announcement will be made on Sunday, Jul 10.

Dayanidhi Maran has already become one of the recent casualties as he had to table his resignation as textile minister. Maran resigned on Thursday, Jul 7 after getting caught in the 2G spectrum net following CBI's gathering of evidence establishing his involvement in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

Meanwhile, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, after his meeting with DMK chief M Karunanidhi said, "There is lots of writing and speculation on DMK-Congress alliance continuing or not. The alliance is there and will continue, it will be strengthened."

However, sources also informed that the DMK won't be pressing for replacements for Dayanidhi Maran or for former Telecom Minister A Raja which means the DMK is making its peace with holding just one cabinet berth now currently held by MK Alagiri.

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.

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