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Cabinet reshuffle may be deferred

THE PROPOSED Cabinet reshuffle seems unlikely till end of the budget session that is slated to begin from third week of February, according to reliable government sources.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2007 02:28 IST

THE PROPOSED Cabinet reshuffle seems unlikely till end of the budget session that is slated to begin from third week of February, according to reliable government sources.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh is not ready for this exercise as he is reported to be preoccupied with more immediate plans, sources added, 

Since bureaucratic surgery was supposed to follow the Cabinet reshuffle, that too seems to have been deferred, the sources added. 

A combination of pressing engagements has come in the way of the proposed exercises, which were expected to have been executed soon after Makar Sankranti. First of the engagements is the two-day brainstorming session at the Academy of Administration from January 13 which will involve the entire government including ministers and bureaucrats.

Soon after that, the Chief Minister’s attention will be focused on Khajuraho business conclave scheduled from January 17. This is billed as one of the most ambitious opportunities for the State Government to showcase the State’s industrial potentials to industrialists, from India and abroad. Hectic preparations are already underway for the meet.

Meanwhile, preparations for the budget session are already underway. “ There is no rationale in changing the horse in the middle of the race”, reasoned sources, citing the budget session.

In the event of Cabinet reshuffle before the session, the ministers new in their departments would have great difficulties facing the opposition onslaught on budgetary debates.          

Therefore, the sources said, it is safe to presume that the Chief Minister would continue with the present team. Any way, the Chief Minister has good reasons to defer Cabinet reshuffle, as this is sure to trigger discontent in the party, no matter how deftly it is carried out. There are too many aspirants for limited Cabinet berths. So, some amount of resentment is inevitable.      

As far as continuance of Narendra Singh Tomar and Rampal Singh in the Cabinet is concerned, both the State BJP president and the Vidisha MP are there at the CM’s ‘request’. As per rule, Rampal Singh can remain minister for another four months. In any case, the CM can relieve his trusted friends of the ministerial responsibilities without having to reshuffle the Cabinet and inviting political trouble.        

If deferment of Cabinet reshuffle may disappoint aspirants for Cabinet berth, likely delay in bureaucratic surgery will sure come a relief to a sizable number of bureaucrats, especially in top echelon. 

Also, Collectors, in particular, will sure rejoice deferment of bureaucratic change till April. March being the closing month of a fiscal, development works in the field happen to be on peak.

This is very crucial period in the administration. This is a period when the field officers could walk an extra mile to improve their performance. Given the fact that the next bureaucratic reshuffle is likely effect a permanent mechanism  before the assembly election, officers are expected to grab this opportunity with both hands.