Union Cabinet reshuffle on Monday

Published: 16th June 2013 01:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2013 06:48 PM   |  A+A-

Manmohan_Sonia
By PTI

The much talked about reshuffle of the Union Cabinet will take place on Monday, ahead of which C P Joshi and Ajay Maken stepped down as Cabinet ministers.

Both Joshi and Maken had handed over their resignations last night. Their resignations were today accepted by President Pranab Mukherjee with immediate effect, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said.

The reshuffle will take place tomorrow evening, a Rashtrapati Bhawan spokesperson said.

Joshi, who was holding dual portfolios of Surface Transport and Highways and Railways, resigned following "directives" from the Congress high command, sources close to him told PTI.

"Whatever new role the party assigns me I will perform that to the best of my ability," Joshi tweeted.

Maken, who was Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, has expressed his desire to work for the party.

His resignation comes ahead of Assembly elections in Delhi later this year.

The reshuffle of the Council of Ministers is expected to be the last one in UPA-II with Lok Sabha elections less than a year away. This is the second reshuffle since October last year.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to utilise the opportunity to fill several vacancies in his Council of Ministers.

Singh had earlier said that there were some vacancies and the issue of filling them up was being considered.

The latest vacancies in the Council of Ministers were created by the resignations of Union Ministers P K Bansal and Ashwani Kumar.

Bansal quit as the Railways Minister last month in the wake of bribery scandal involving his nephew and a Railway Board member.

Kumar resigned as the Law Minister following a controversy over vetting of a CBI probe report on coal blocks allocation scam.

The Railway portfolio was given to Joshi as an additional charge while that of Law went to Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal also as an additional ministry.

In the reshuffle, ministers holding two portfolios could be divested of one, sources said.

With DMK and TMC withdrawing support to the UPA government, a number of slots vacated by them are yet to filled up.

Five ministers of DMK had resigned on March 20, this year after which there has been no rejig in the Union Council of Ministers.

They were Ministers of State for Finance, Commerce and Industry, Health and Family Welfare and Social Justice. The only Cabinet minister the party had was M K Alagiri who was in-charge of Chemicals and Fertilisers.

Two cabinet ministers of DMK had resigned earlier -- Dayanidhi Maran and A Raja, the latter following the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Trinamool Congress had withdrawn support to the government last year.

Some ministers may also be drafted for organisational work ahead of the next Lok Sabha polls, the sources said.

A reshuffle in AICC, which is long overdue, is also being firmed up.

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is also the General Secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, could be given new responsibilities.

There are indications that AICC General Secretary and media department in-charge Janardan Dwivedi may give up the charge of media, a job he had done for six years now.

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