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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 26, 2012
In the upcoming cabinet reshuffle, possibly the last one before the next general election, protégés of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi are hopeful of finding berths.

Gandhi, however, is unlikely to join the cabinet. Congress sources on Thursday dismissed reports of him joining the cabinet as imaginary. The reshuffle is likely on Sunday.

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.

Pradip Majhi, representing Odisha's Nabarangpur, is seen as a strong leader in a Maoist stronghold. Manish Tewari, Lok Sabha member from Ludhiana, may also be given a key MoS berth.

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.