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New foreign minister soon

PRIME MINISTER Manmohan Singh has indicated that the long-awaited induction of a new foreign minister could take place within days of his return to Delhi from his current foreign tour, on September 18.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2006 13:29 IST

PRIME MINISTER Manmohan Singh has indicated that the long-awaited induction of a new foreign minister could take place within days of his return to Delhi from his current foreign tour, on September 18.

In response to a question, Singh told reporters on-board the special flight from Frankfurt to Brazil: "Yes, I have said there is a need for a full-time foreign minister and hopefully when I go back, there should be a foreign minister in place. I think, I will be back on September 18. And I think soon, thereafter, (I will act on it)."

Asked whether there could be a wider reshuffle, Singh was ambiguous, "You asked a question about foreign office. As of now I am thinking of only having a foreign minister."

In such matters, the issue is never sealed till it actually happens. Yet Tuesday's comment is likely to once again set off speculation. An induction could mean that there would be no changes in the current responsibilities of the senior ministers in his Cabinet and the proposed incumbent will be a new face. A reshuffle could mean many things, including a fresh induction.