Cabinet reshuffle: Congress eyes key changes at Centre, some states
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The possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle at the Centre and change of Chief Ministers in some Congress-ruled states is said to be on the cards.
While the "big-four" at the Centre (Home, Finance, Defence and External Affairs) are unlikely to be disturbed, there could be some inductions and changes in some of the portfolios of ministers. There are some ministers who hold more than one portfolio and they could be relieved of the additional charge, sources said.
Ministers like Veerappa Moily and Vayalar Ravi hold dual charges like Corporate Affairs and Power and Overseas Affairs and Science and Technology respectively. Moily got Power after the elevation of Sushil Kumar Shinde to Home and Ravi got Science and Technology after the demise of Vilasrao Deshmukh.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has been holding Telecommunication ever since A Raja of DMK was forced to quit in the wake of Spectrum allocation controversy in November, 2010. There is talk of some ministers being sent to the party for preparations ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
There are two vacancies after representatives of DMK – Raja and Dayanidhi Maran -- resigned in less than two years. The return of President Pranab Mukherjee to the capital tomorrow from West Bengal after a 4-day visit opens the window for a change, if any, in the next few days.
Along with the Cabinet reshuffle, there is speculation about change of Chief Ministers in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan as part of plans to crank up the machinery ahead of Parliament and Assembly elections.
"No decision" yet was the cryptic response of top party sources when asked about the growing talk of replacement of N Kirankumar Reddy of Andhra Pradesh, Prithviraj Chavan of Maharashtra and Ashok Gehlot of Rajasthan ahead of the changes at Centre.
The Congress high command is said to be thinking of accommodating the Chief Ministers either at government at the Centre or in the AICC secretariat, where also a reshuffle is on the cards, if they are to be replaced.
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