For Delhi cabinet, these are stressful times. There are six berths in the cabinet and for every available portfolio there are 4-5 aspirants. The final six make an appearance on December 15.
Congress Legislative Party chief Sheila Dikshit was said to be keen that her team of six ministers take oath when she got sworn in as the Delhi chief minister for the third term.
Dwarka MLA Mahabal Mishra, for one, was trying to capitalise on the growing number of Purvanchali voters in Delhi and had been lobbying for a ministerial berth.
Rumours were rife on Thursday about an impending meeting between Dikshit and Sonia Gandhi. “Dikshit has apparently been given a freehand in choosing her ministers,” said a Congress source.
Others were busy trying to convince Dikshit that they were fit for the portfolio of a minister. “Yoganand Shastri’s record as a health minister has been exemplary. He started five new hospitals in his tenure and introduced indoor patient treatment services in three others. He also managed to acquire land for 12 other hospitals. These are no mean achievements,” said a supporter of Shastri who was said to be on a weak footing.
Similarly, Seelampur MLA Mateen Ahmed is eyeing the seat meant for a Muslim candidate, at present occupied by Haroon Yusuf.
“Ahmed has won from the seat four times in a row. Yusuf is also on a bit of a sticky wicket here because there are some senior leaders who would like him to go,” the source added.
Deoli MLA Arvinder Singh Lovely is among the front contenders for the berth meant for a Sikh leader. “Choosing Lovely (Deoli) will take care of two communities — Sikhs and Scheduled Caste voters,” said a party insider.