With only a few hours remaining for the reshuffle of Union Cabinet, speculation is rife in the political circles that a young MP will be included in the ministry this time from Odisha.
Though the picture about the State is still hazy, sources said party MP from Nabarangpur Pradip Majhi, MP from Kalahandi and former Union minister Bhakta Charan Das and Rajya Sabha member Ramchandra Khuntia are in the contention this time. A clear picture about the inclusion will emerge on Sunday morning only.
Sources said Majhi has a better chance as the party will be able to cash in on the tribal factor. Besides, Majhi is supposed to be close to party general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
Majhi was the State Youth Congress president till 2011 from 2009 and is credited to have activated it during a difficult period after the drubbing that the party received in the last elections in Odisha.
Speculation is also rife about Das getting the call this time. Das has the advantage of experience on his side as a former minister. Besides, Das is also considered close to Rahul Gandhi. Rahul had visited Lanjigarh twice to fight for the Dongria Kondhs against the proposal for mining bauxite from Niyamgiri.
Khuntia’s name is also doing the rounds in party circles here as a possible candidate for inclusion in the ministry. A trade union leader, Khuntia is considered close to the Gandhi family.
It is also being contemplated that Union Minister of State for Fertilisers Srikant Jena is likely to get elevation this time.