Cabinet reshuffle likely after January 14

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, is likely to reshuffle the Union council of ministers after January 14.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has already held two rounds of consultations with Dr. Singh.

The reshuffle could see some Cabinet ministers going to the Congress to oversee party work, while others may see their portfolios change.

The AICC organisation is in for some reordering. The post of general secretary is vacant after Prithviraj Chavan’s shifting to Maharashtra as chief minister while three other office-bearers-A K Antony, Veerappa Moily and Narayanswamy-are also ministers at the Centre.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is also the AICC in-charge of several states, including Tamil Nadu, could be back in the party. Azad may get charge of Andhra Pradesh.

Minister of State Salman Khurshid is expected to be elevated to Cabinet rank and given a meatier portfolio than his Minority Affairs and Company Affairs.

While the telecom portfolio is expected to remain with Congress in view of DMK’s handling of the charge pushing the government towards a virtual crisis, it is not clear that Kapil Sibal would be divested of any portfolio. He has charge of HRD, telecom and science and technology.

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia is tipped to be the Minister of State for External Affairs. The post was left vacant after Shashi Tharoor resigned in the wake of the IPL controversy.

Sharad Pawar, who currently holds three portfolios, could be divested of Food and Public Distribution.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma is likely to get an important ministry.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj C. P. Joshi could be shifted. (ANI)

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