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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Former UPA ministers may return to their old jobs

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 01, 2014
First Published: 20:26 IST(1/6/2014) | Last Updated: 01:25 IST(2/6/2014)

After his humiliating defeat from Solapur in Maharashtra in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections, former Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde has said that he would bid goodbye to active politics and concentrate on social work.

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While it remains to be seen if 71-year-old Shinde, a former Maharashtra policeman, sticks to his decision, his other Congress colleagues in the UPA government do not have any such plans.

Former finance minister P Chidambaram -- who opted out of the poll race and propped up his son Karti Chidambaram, who incidentally lost from Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu -- had earlier stated that he would like to try his hand at teaching, writing and even editing a newspaper apart from pursuing politics.

A lawyer by profession, Chidambaram, 68, had then made it clear he was not interested in writing an autobiography as he found it too narcissistic.

Once commenting about Chidambaram's future plans in a lighter vein, finance minister Arun Jaitley had remarked that "Parliament's loss would be the Supreme Court's gain".

But the buzz in Congress circles is that Chidambaram might enter the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka.

Similarly, former law and telecom minister Kapil Sibal has apparently applied for renewal of his bar license after 10 years, to take up law practice once again. Sibal, 65, finished third in the elections from Chandni Chowk in Delhi.

Former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid and information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari are also following suit. All of them, however, will continue to serve the party.

"I have already picked up the threads of legal profession and ready for whatever work the party assigns for me," he told HT.

While Khurshid, 61, stood fourth from Farrukhabad constituency, Tewari, 48, opted out of the contest from Ludhiana this time.

Among the young ministers, Jitin Prasada, 40, and RPN Singh, 50, -- both of them lost the polls – have expressed the desire to work for strengthening the party and continue to nurture their respective constituencies.

"Though I lost the elections, the fact remains that a lot of people reposed their trust in me. I will try my best to live up to their expectations," Prasada told HT.


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