Manmohan Singh hints at Cabinet reshuffle

Last Updated 31 May 2013, 09:39 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today indicated that a Cabinet reshuffle could be on the cards to fill up the vacancies.

"There are some vacancies. The issue of filling them up is being considered," Singh told reporters on his way back from Japan and Thailand.

The Prime Minister was asked whether he was contemplating a Cabinet reshuffle in view of vacancies created by the resignations of P K Bansal and Ashwani Kumar.

Bansal quit as Railways Minister earlier this month in the wake of bribery scandal involving his nephew and a Railway Board member. Kumar also resigned as Law Minister following controversy over vetting of a CBI probe report on coal block allocation scam.

The portfolio of Railways has been given to Road and Highways Minister C P Joshi as an additional charge while that of Law has gone to Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal as additional ministry.

Besides, there are a number of other ministers holding more than one portfolios.
The Prime Minister, while interacting with the mediapersons on board the special aircraft, also rejected reports of a rift between him and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, asserting that there was no truth in it as the two worked together almost on all issues.

"In all truthfulness, there is no difference of opinion between me and the Congress president," he said.

"This perception that on certain issues there were differences of opinion, there is no truth in that... We work together on almost every issue and where consultations are needed, I consult the Congress president," he said while responding to a question about perception of a trust deficit and divergences between him and Gandhi.

He was also asked whether Gandhi had nudged him against his wishes to get the resignation of Ashwani Kumar and whether he faced a tough situation when CBI Director Ranjit Sinha named a joint secretary in the PMO as having made changes in the agency's affidavit to the Supreme Court on Coalgate. The Prime Minister did not spell out his response to this.

(Published 31 May 2013, 07:02 IST)

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