New Delhi: The UPA government, after announcing a slew of reforms is now moving towards the imminent Cabinet reshuffle of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's council of Ministers.
According to sources, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's political rivals from West Bengal, Pradeep Bhattacharya and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, are among the 15 new faces likely to be inducted into the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, sources have said that the DMK is not keen on taking the vacant berths in the Cabinet. The Congress has maintained that it is up to the DMK to take a decision on the issue.
Among other names being considered for the reshuffle are Telugu actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi, NCP's Tariq Anwar, Congress leaders Gurudas Kamat, Vilasrao Muttemwar and Shashi Tharoor.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's key aide Meenakshi Natarajan and party spokesperson Manish Tewari may also be roped in.
According to sources, the Cabinet reshuffle is likely to take place after Friday.
Talking about the move, the Congress has said that it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to decide on who gets what.
Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit said, “Cabinet reshuffle is the prerogative of the PM. He has to consult all the allies. The Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi will have the last word. We have been hearing about the reshuffle even before Mamata left the government.”
The ones being considered
- Tariq Anwar to replace Agatha Sangma from the NCP quota
- WBC President Pradip Bhattacharya and Adhir Choudhury
- Gurudas Kamat and Vilas Baburao Muttemwar to be inducted from Maharashtra
- Shashi Tharoor is likely to make a comeback
- Telugu actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi
- Rahul Gandhi's key aide Meenakshi Natrajan
- Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari may also be considered
Those likely to be dropped
- Subodh Kant Sahai for his alleged involvement in the coal scam
- Agatha Sangma, since her father PA Sangma quit the NCP to join hands with NDA during the Presidential polls
- There is a question mark over continuation of Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal too, since his alleged links to coal scam have surfaced
- Mukul Wasnik is also likely to be on his way out
- Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma may also be removed for poor performance in the UP Assembly polls
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also reportedly said that the ministers holding dual portfolios should be divested of one of those portfolios.
If action is taken along those lines, the following ministers may lose either or any one of their portfolios:
Kapil Sibal: HRD, Telecom
Veerapa Moily: Power, Corporate Affairs
Salman Khurshid: Law & Justice, Minority Affairs
Anand Sharma: Commerce, Textiles
Vayalar Ravi: Overseas Affairs, Science and Technology, Micro small and Medium enterprises
Pawan Bansal: Parliamentary Affairs, Water Resources
CP Joshi: Railways, Road Transport and Highways