Cabinet reshuffle likely today

Cabinet reshuffle likely today

A reshuffle of the Union Cabinet may take place on Monday with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inducting some new faces to his ministry apart from effecting changes in the portfolios of some of his colleagues.

The names of senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes and Meenakshi Natarajan, considered close to party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, are being mentioned in Congress circles for possible berths in the Union Council of Ministers.

There was also speculation that Minister of State for Agriculture Charan Das Mahant, from the poll-bound Chhattisgarh will be elevated.

Road Transport Minister C P Joshi and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Ajay Maken have quit the ministry to work for the party. Two vacancies in the Cabinet were also created by the resignation of Union Ministers P K Bansal and Ashwani Kumar.

In Monday’s reshuffle, ministers holding two portfolios could be divested of one, sources said. The portfolios of some of the ministers, including Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge and Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily, are likely to be changed.

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