With former Union Minister S M Krishna apparently sulking, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has replaced him as chairman of Congress sub-group on India's foreign relations at the party's Chintan Shivir.
81-year-old Krishna was named as the sub-group's chairman in last week of December but he did not attend its meetings citing his prior engagements in Vietnam.
This was second major assignment to Krishna after he was replaced from External Affairs Ministry by Salman Khurshid in the last Cabinet reshuffle in October. A few days back, Krishna was also made a permanent invitee to Congress Working Committee.
Party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, who annoucned Anand Sharma's name as Chairman of the sub-group on "India and World', said that Krishna had gone to a foreign country and could not attend meetings. He said that he had already informed the party leadership about it.
Sharma had been Minister of State for External Affairs earlier. Interestingly, the announcement of his name to head the sub-group comes a day after media reports that Sharma, unlike in the past, will not lead Indian delegation to the annual meet of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland, starting next week.
Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath leads the delegation this time reflecting his growing clout in the government and the Congress.
Krishna will also skip the Chintan Shivir and has already expressed inability to attend the party's brainstorming meet.
The talk in Karnataka Congress is that 81-year-old Krishna is keen on another shot at power in the state, where he had earlier been Chief Minister. As the BJP-ruled state goes to polls in the next few months, Krishna wanted the party leadership to project him as its next PCC chief and chief ministerial face.
Sources close to Krishna, however, said he had already given his consent to attend a conference in Vietnam on January 18 and 19 for which he was invited by that country's foreign minister.