New Delhi: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna on Friday offered to resign ahead of the proposed Cabinet reshuffle, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday. Krishna is likely to be given an important position in the Karnataka unit of the Congress party.
Krishna is likely resign on Friday evening as he wants to give a free hand to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the reshuffle. The timing of Krishna's offer has raised a lot of eyebrows within the government as Spanish king Juan Carlos I is in India and the Ministry of External Affairs play a crucial role during the visit of a foreign dignitary.
"I want youngsters to be given a chance. I am a loyal party worker and I work for the party without any conditions," said Krishna about the Cabinet reshuffle.
There was a speculation that Krishna would be dropped in Sunday's reshuffle as there have been several controversies involving him including a Lokayukta report against him and his England tour to watch tennis matches at Wimbledon.
This also comes a day after a special Lokayukta court ordered its police to probe the involvement of SM Krishna, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Devegowda in the alleged Mysore-Bangalore Express Highway scam.
Certain irregularities have been reported to have taken place in the acquisition of farmers' land for the project that was being developed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Limited (NICE). A private complaint was filed by social activist TJ Abraham specifying the role of each of the persons named in the case.
Cabinet reshuffle on Sunday morning
The much delayed Union Cabinet reshuffle will finally take place on Sunday morning, that is October 28. Sources have told CNN-IBN that discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi are almost complete. External Affairs Minister SM Krishna is likely to be eased out of the cabinet.
But the suspense over Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi joining the government remains. Sources say Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot are among those likely to be elevated. The reshuffle could also involve some ministers caught in controversies like coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal.
Tourism minister Subodh Kant Sahai may also be dropped, say sources. The NCP has already said it will replace its minister Agatha Sangma. She is likely to be replaced with senior leader Tariq Anwar. Law Minister Salman Khurshid could lose Minorities Affair Ministry. Sports Minister Ajay Maken and Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan could also be elevated to cabinet ranks.
Following are the possibilities:
-Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot among young ministers likely to be elevated.
-Manish Tiwari, Deepa Dasmunshi, Chiranjeevi likely among new faces.
-Subodhkant Sahai, Beni Prasad Verma and SM Krishna may be among the ministers dropped.
-Beni Prasad Verma, Sriprakash Jaiswal and Ambika Soni may also be dropped.
-Ministers holding dual charge like Kapil Sibal, Salman Khurshid, Veerappa Moily likely to be stripped off one portfolio.
-Rehman Khan likely to get Minority Affairs Ministry.
-No suggestion yet on Rahul Gandhi joining the Cabinet.