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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Reshuffle in Union Council of Ministers likely after Jan 14

PTI  New Delhi, January 11, 2011
First Published: 21:41 IST(11/1/2011) | Last Updated: 21:52 IST(11/1/2011)

The much talked-about reshuffle of the Union Council of Ministers could take place anytime after January 14 amid indications that the exercise was still being given final touches.

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The talk in Congress circles is that while the party wants the reshuffle in the government to be a major exercise, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appears to be in favour of it being a limited affair.

Talks have it that Kapil Sibal could retain his new charge of Telecom where he was brought in over a month back following the resignation of A Raja in the wake of the 2G Spectrum scam.

Sibal is holding charge of HRD Ministry as also Science and Technology. The latter was given to him after Prithviraj Chavan was made Maharashtra Chief Minister. Party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi's name is doing the rounds for the HRD ministry.

The DMK appears to be making a pitch for an additional ministerial berth in wake of Raja's exit but Congress circles are doubtful whether it would be conceded to, given the fact that the ally would not be able to mount much pressure in view of the scam.

The names of Union Ministers Ambika Soni, Vilasrao Deshmukh and Gurudas Kamat are doing the rounds for party work.

The buzz is that Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, who is a Minister of State (Independent charge) could be elevated to Cabinet rank.

The occasion could also be used to fill the slot vacated by the Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, who quit last year in wake of the IPL Kochi ownership controversy.

The names of Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and UIDIA chief Nandan Nilekani are also doing the rounds for inclusion in the government.

Congress sources, however, say that since there were hardly any vacancy in the Rajya Sabha, it would be a difficult task to bring in non-MPs as ministers.

A reshuffle of the AICC secretariat as also reconstitution of the Congress Working Committee is pending for long and party chief Sonia Gandhi is expected to use the opportunity for inductions in the party.

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