With finance minister and leader of Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee surrendering his finance portfolio, the union cabinet is all set to undergo major changes. But chances of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi taking over a key role in UPA are slim.
Top sources in the Congress told HT that the possibility of Rahul Gandhi's entry in the cabinet was discussed again in the backdrop of the impending cabinet rejig, but there were no signals if Gandhi wishes to join the government. The youth icon of the party has time and again maintained that he prefers to work in the organisation and focus on its revamp.
Gandhi, however, held a rare meeting with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee at the latter's office for more than an hour on Monday. Both sides dubbed it as a courtesy call but sources said the road map of the UPA government came up during their talks.
“We learn a lot from him. It was a matter of great happiness that he was going to become the president of the country,” Gandhi said after meeting the finance minister. Sources said Gandhi came to Rajya Sabha secretariat to sign and endorse Mukherjee's nomination paper. After the formalities, Gandhi went to the North Block to meet Mukherjee.
UPA sources indicated that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to retain the finance ministry with him at least till the monsoon session is over. Sources suggest that in the next cabinet reshuffle, Kapil Sibal and Anand Sharma-who are holding more than one portfolio-are likely to be divested of additional responsibilities.
In the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, Congress president Gandhi reportedly lauded Mukherjee's role in the UPA and said the “void will be felt” as he was “indispensable”. “The party will miss you,” Gandhi reportedly said before the meeting ended.