Upset at not being made a minister, Eluru MP quits

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New Delhi, Oct 27: Even as five union ministers resigned ahead of tomorrow's cabinet reshuffle, a Congress MP from Andhra Pradesh reportedly quit today because he was not being considered for a ministerial berth.

Kavuru Samba Shiva Rao, who was elected by voters in Eluru Lok Sabha constituency, is said to have been hopeful of becoming a minister this time round. However, the indications that he will not be part of the reshuffle after all seems to have led him to put in his papers.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Mahadev Khandela submitted their resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier in the day.

"I have been working for the organisation for the last several years and I would like to work for the organisation," Wasnik said. Ambika Soni claimed to have taken the PM's permission to resign. "It is not appropriate if I do it on my own," she said.

"It is an honour to work for the party. I am offering my resignation to Prime Minister. Party president (Sonia Gandhi) and others want me to work for the party, so I will be working to strengthen the party as the party is supreme. We are in the government because of the party," Subodh Kant Sahai told reporters before meeting the PM.

Meanwhile, speculation is rife here over the elevation of some junior ministers. According to Congress sources, Sports Minister Ajay Maken and Harish Rawat could be included in the cabinet. Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora, Dinsha Patel, Srikant Kumar Jena and KH Muniyappa may be upgraded too.

Actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi is likely to be made a central minister. By merging his Praja Rajyam party with the Congress, he had helped the Kiran Kumar Reddy-led government to survive at a time when the rebellion by former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy's son Jaganmohan threatened to derail it.

From West Bengal, the names being mentioned in connection with the cabinet reshuffle are those of Deepa Dasmunshi and Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury.

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