A minor reshuffle may be on the cards to induct Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandhopadhaya into the Union Council of Ministers, according to sources in his party.
Besides one Cabinet post for party chief Mamata Bannerjee, the Trinamool has six other Ministers of State in the Manmohan Singh government.
With 79 ministers already in the team of the 81 allowed, there are only two vacant slots left. The question is whether the induction will be against one of these two slots or against a vacancy created by dropping a Trinamool colleague.
During the talks leading to government formation, the 19-member Trinamool had demanded one ministerial berth more than the 18-member DMK, which like the West Bengal party has seven ministers in the government now.
There is no indication when this reshuffle will take place.
The end of the Parliament session on Friday spells a heavy schedule for the PM and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Besides making readjustments in the Cabinet, the PM, in consultation with the party, has to decide on the eight Rajya Sabha nominations that have to be made before the end of the month.
While seven Rajya Sabha members have retired after completing their term, the eighth vacancy coming up is because of C Rangarajan’s likely resignation ahead of his appointment to the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.
On her part, Sonia too has to recast her AICC officebearers and call an AICC session in the next few weeks to tone up the organisation.