Pranab likely to be next external affairs minister | india | Hindustan Times
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Pranab likely to be next external affairs minister

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appeared all set on Monday night to reshuffle his Council of Ministers. Indications were that Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee might be shifted to the Ministry of External Affairs to fill up the vacancy caused by K Natwar Singh?s resignation after the Volcker panel report on the oil for food scam.

india Updated: Oct 24, 2006 14:52 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appeared all set on Monday night to reshuffle his Council of Ministers. Indications were that Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee might be shifted to the Ministry of External Affairs to fill up the vacancy caused by K Natwar Singh’s resignation  after the Volcker panel report on the oil for food scam.  

Government sources said the PM had sought and got time from President APJ Abdul Kalam for the swearing-in ceremony at 7.30 pm on Tuesday.  But it may be pushed to some other date if Iid-ul-Fitr is celebrated on Tuesday. 

The sources said the President would not mind swearing in the new ministers on Id. "It is the Government that has to take a decision whether or not to go ahead with the programme on Tuesday," it was said. The practice normally is to ensure that swearing-in ceremonies do not clash with festivals.

In addition to the Cabinet slot in the Foreign Office, which has two Ministers of State, there are three clear vacancies in Singh's Council of Ministers.

A replacement will also have to be named for Pranab in defence.