Cabinet reshuffle likely next week

Posted By: Pti
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UPA cabinet
New Delhi, Sept 20: A reshuffle of the Union Council of Ministers appears high on the cards as Trinamool Congress is all set to pull out of UPA today. Congress sources speak of a "substantial" reshuffle by the Prime Minister, possibly next week.

Party sources said changes in the government and the party could be taking place in tandem as there is a possibility that some of the ministers would be drafted for party work. Some ministers may be sent to the party for preparations for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The Railway Ministry, which is expected to fall vacant following the resignation of Mukul Roy of TMC, along with five of his party colleagues, is likely to be retained by Congress.

While a section in Congress says the "big-four" at the Centre (Home, Finance, Defence and External Affairs) are unlikely to be disturbed, there are murmurs that some last-minute change in this, too, cannot be ruled out. There are some ministers who hold more than one portfolio and they could be relieved of the additional charge, sources said.

Ministers like M Veerappa Moily and Vayalar Ravi hold dual charges like Corporate Affairs and Power and Overseas Affairs and Science and Technology, respectively. Moily got Power after the elevation of Sushilkumar Shinde to Home and Ravi got Science and Technology after the death of Vilasrao Deshmukh.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has been holding Telecommunication ever since A Raja of DMK was forced to quit in the wake of 2G spectrum allocation controversy in Nov 2010. There are two vacancies after representatives of DMK - Raja and Dayanidhi Maran - resigned.


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