Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his 7 Race Course Road residence here, sparking speculation that a Cabinet reshuffle was on the cards.
Sonia, who is also the UPA chairperson, met the Prime Minister after the Union Cabinet deferred the decision of ordinance to provide food security and make another effort to get the Opposition on board for passing the Food Security Bill in Parliament.
The proposed Food Security Bill is the brainchild of the Congress president, aimed at giving legal rights to 67 per cent of the population over a uniform quantity of 5 kg foodgrain at a fixed price of `1-3 per kg through ration shops.
Sonia has been pushing for early implementation of food security, a poll promise of the UPA, considered to be a game changer in the next general elections.The meeting between the PM and Sonia also sparked speculation of a possible reshuffle of the Cabinet since there are vacancies in the Cabinet.
The PM himself had indicated last month that a Cabinet reshuffle could be on the cards to fill up the vacancies.The vacancies created by the exit of the DMK and the Trinamool Congress from the Council of Ministers, besides Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ashwini Kumar quit the Cabinet posts, are yet to be filled. Meanwhile, the Congress said that all options were open on providing food security and it would prefer its passage by Parliament. Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed hoped that there would be further consensus on the key legislation among all the political parties and the Food Security Bill would be passed in the coming session of Parliament.
The Congress also pooh-poohed the fresh moves for formation of a Federal Front, saying parties talking about it had no relevance outside their states.
“There is no possibility of any Third Front or Fourth Front. At this juncture, the political scenario in the country does not give any positive sign for any such front.