NEW DELHI (TIP): The much talked about reshuffle-cum-expansion of the Union Council of Ministers, expected this week, appears to have been put off till the middle of next month.
Congress sources said the exercise was unlikely this month, but did not give reasons for the postponement.
The reshuffle, the first after Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress walked out of the UPA, could have been a substantial affair with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh giving ample hint of pursuing the reforms agenda.
Reports said Congress had discussed the reshuffle issue with DMK, the largest ally of the UPA with 18 MPs after the exit of the Trinamool Congress, but it had turned down the offer.
Union Minister V. Narayanasamy had called on DMK chief M. Karunanidhi in Chennai two days ago, but the latter is learnt to have turned down the offer for induction of his party MPs in the Manmohan Singh-led Cabinet, party sources said.
The DMK’s quota of two Cabinet portfolios remain vacant after the exit of A. Raja and Dayanidhi Maran over the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
With six ministers from TMC leaving, two to three Congress leaders from West Bengal were expected to be accommodated. The names of Deepa Dashmunshi and Adhir Choudhury, known detractors of the TMC chief and West Bengal PCC president Pradeep Bhatacharjee, were doing the rounds.
Moreover, the period from September 30 to October 15 is considered inauspicious as per Hindu calendar.