Cabinet reshuffle likely on Sunday, speculations abound

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 26, 2012 06:34 hrs

New Delhi: Amid discussions of a possible reshuffle in the Union Cabinet, Congress leaders have said that the reshuffling the cabinet is the prerogative of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Minister of State for Telecom Sachin Pilot has said that the Prime Minister will take the final call regarding reallocation of portfolios.

"In the cabinet what work one does and who gets included and what kind of responsibility is given - this is the prerogative of Prime Minister. It comes under his jurisdiction. It is his discretion to whom to include in his team and what responsibility one has to be given," he said.

Meanwhile refusing to comment over the reshuffle, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said: "It is prerogative of Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) and I do not want to comment on this."

Echoing similar views, Congress leader Rashid Masood said that it was important to have experienced and young as part of the cabinet.

"No country can be governed by youth only. There should be a mix and it is prerogative of Prime Minister and party. Whatever they will do, it will be for good," said Masood.

The Union Cabinet is likely to be reshuffled on October 28.

Speculation has been rife about a possible reshuffle in the wake of the exit of Trinamool Congress ministers and DMK representatives A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran in the last two years.

Reports of an imminent reshuffle gained fresh momentum after Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi met President Pranab Mukherjee separately recently.

Rumors abound that some young faces could be included in the Cabinet.

The names of Manicka Tagore and Meenakshi Natarajan are doing the rounds.

Among the young ministers, Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Jitin Prasada may get promoted to Cabinet rank or get independent charge as Ministers of State.

The latest reshuffle exercise could see some of the ministers holding charges of two ministries losing one of the portfolios.

With six ministers from the Trinamool Congress leaving, two or three Congress leaders from West Bengal are expected to be accommodated.

The names of Deepa Dashmunshi, Adhir Choudhury and West Bengal PCC chief Pradeep Bhatacharjee are doing the rounds.

According to television reports, the reshuffle could also involve some ministers caught in controversies like coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal. Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay may also be dropped. The NCP has already said it will replace its minister Agatha Sangma. She is likely to be replaced with senior leader Tariq Anwar. 

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