Junior ministers' complaints about not getting enough work seem to have reached the sympathetic ears of the UPA brass.
In the full meeting of the council of ministers on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and NCP chief Sharad Pawar batted for ministers of state (MoS), saying they should be given more work.
The Prime Minister while talking about economic agenda for the government urged cabinet ministers to give work to their "energetic and younger colleagues".
Pawar went a step ahead and proposed to include MoS in Group of Ministers (GoMs).
At present, only cabinet ministers and MoS (independent charge) are made members of the GoMs.
The NCP chief also said the juniors should learn the ropes.
Although Pawar's suggestion came after Tariq Anwar - a senior member of his party -became a MoS in agriculture in the recent reshuffle, it assumes significance as it means junior ministers may become part of key policy making process.
Pawar's suggestion added to its importance as most of the MoS-level appointments in the recent reshuffle are believed to bear the imprint of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
There are six Empowered GoMs and 14 GoMs in the UPA government. After the latest reshuffle, 33 MoS have been given slots.
Earlier, some junior ministers had raised the issues related to their inadequate assignments to the highest level of the UPA, forcing the Prime Minister to convene a special meeting of the junior ministers.
Things, however, didn't change much even after the Prime Minister's intervention.