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Reshuffle on the cards after Pawar’s plea
Published on 7 Jul. 2010 12:10 AM IST
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A day after Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar urged Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to seek a change in his portfolios as he cannot cope with the burden, the minister on Tuesday refused to clarify any further, even as speculation is rife of a possible Cabinet reshuffle.
According to the Times Now sources, the Cabinet reshuffle is likely to take place between July 10-15. The Times Now report also added that the PM will meet Sharad Pawar again before taking a decision. Pawar is believed to be keen on retaining the agriculture portfolio, reported Times News Network.
Pawar, who last week assumed charge as president of the International Cricket Council, also holds additional charge of food and consumer affairs and public distribution.
“It is up to Pawar to decide which portfolio he wants to retain,” a top government source told IANS, adding the ministry Pawar opts out of would be given to a Congress MP. “Discussions regarding this have begun in the Congress.” Pawar said he had asked the prime minister six months ago to relieve him of some of his ministerial duties.
The news channel added that speculation is doing rounds over the reshuffling of the telecom portfolio, after finance minister Pranab Mukherjee met DMK supremo Karunanidhi. Sources said that A Raja could be moved out of ministry, as the Congress will be testing waters with the DMK, if a reshuffle in the telecom portfolio takes place.
Meanwhile, sources also added that the induction of Ajit Singh and Ram Vilas Paswan in the Cabinet were hopeful and there are chances of Bihar and UP representatives to be inducted in Cabinet.
A ministerial reshuffle at the Centre has looked likely because of many reasons. After minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor quit a few months ago, no fresh appointment was made in the foreign office. There are hints about minister for chemicals M K Alagiri quitting to join Tamil Nadu politics full time before the state assembly elections. Besides, the performance of a few ministers is seen as lacklustre.

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