NEW DELHI (TIP): Keen to infuse more young blood into Manmohan Singh’s ministerial team, Congress may opt to give party MPs such as Meenakshi Natarajan, Manicka Tagore and Pradip Majhi minister of state ranks.
Amid talks of a cabinet reshuffle, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has resigned from his post, official sources said.
Reports says that Krishna would like to give Prime Minister Singh a free hand in deciding whom he would like to chose as the next foreign minister of the country during the expected reshuffle of cabinet over the weekend.
Sources are also saying that the Prime Minister could assume responsibilities of the foreign office for a couple of days before deciding on the person he would like in Krishna’s place.
Rumors are also doing the rounds that Krishna could be headed back to Karnataka state politics, or even be made the governor of some state, given his seniority in politics and in the Congress Party.
With the reshuffle expected to take place on Sunday, Congress leaders have said that it is the prerogative of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Keen to infuse more young blood into Manmohan Singh’s ministerial team, Congress may opt to give party MPs such as Meenakshi Natarajan, Manicka Tagore and Pradip Majhi minister of state ranks. Natarajan, a Lok Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur, is one of the secretaries involved with Gandhi’s organisational works.
CP Joshi is likely to retain the railway ministry and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor may stage a comeback after being dropped in 2010 following an IPL controversy. K Rehman Khan, former deputy chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, may take over the minority affairs ministry from Salman Khurshid.
Andhra Pradesh MP Cheeranjivi, who had merged his Praja Rajyam Party with Congress earlier, may be rewarded with MoS berth.
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.
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.
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.