Amid speculation about a reshuffle in the union council of ministers, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he hoped Rahul Gandhi would this time consider his request to become a minister.
“I have always been in favour of Rahul Gandhi playing a more active role in the government. I have invited him to be a member of the cabinet on several occasions. I sincerely hope this time he will consider very seriously my request,” said the PM. “I don’t know what he is planning to do.”
A reshuffle is overdue, with at least eight ministers holding more than one portfolio. The council can have a maximum of 82 members, while there are only 74 members now.
The vacancy in the finance portfolio was filled by moving in P Chidambaram before the monsoon session of Parliament started, but a more comprehensive reshuffle is on the cards, possibly soon after the session on September 7.
Meanwhile, ally DMK has been demanding replacements for Dayanidhi Maran and A Raja, both of whom resigned.
Among ministers who hold multiple portfolios are Vyalar Ravi (micro, small and medium enterprises, science and technology and earth sciences and overseas Indian affairs), M Veerappa Moily (power and corporate affairs), Kapil Sibal (HRD and IT) Anand Sharma (commerce and industry and textiles), Salman Khurshid (law and justice and minority affairs).