Cabinet reshuffle may take place by June 15

Published: 02nd June 2013 01:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2013 09:03 PM   |  A+A-

Manmohan Singh2PTI

A cabinet reshuffle to fill vacancies in the union council of ministers could take place by June 15 as consultations were on among the top leaders of the party, Congress sources said.

The sources said some ministers were likely to be relieved of their dual charges.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had indicated Friday that a cabinet reshuffle was being contemplated.

While returning from his Japan and Thailand visit, the prime minister had told media persons that a "cabinet expansion is being considered".

"The party does not have to do fire-fighting for now. The leadership is paying attention to pending issues, including the Food Security Bill and Telangana. There is a possibility that a cabinet expansion and reshuffle would take place before June 15 after discussions are completed," a party leader told IANS.

He said the proposed reshuffle was likely to be the last one before the Lok Sabha polls next year and that some ministers may be drafted for party work.

He said consultations were being held between the prime minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Party sources said an early reshuffle would give ministers time to face parliament on questions related to their ministries during the monsoon session.

The BJP has demanded that the monsoon session should be advanced to consider the Food Security Bill.

The past few months have been troublesome for the Congress. It lost the DMK, a major ally in United Progressive Alliance (UPA), in March. Five ministers from the DMK resigned from the UPA government following differences with the Congress on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

Congress ministers P.K. Bansal and Ashwani Kumar had to resign last month following allegations of impropriety.

While Bansal quit as railways minister in the wake of bribery allegations involving his nephew and a Railway Board member, Kumar stepped down as law minister following controversy over vetting of a CBI probe report concerning coal-block allocations.

The second half of the budget session was almost washed out over the opposition's demands concerning coal-block allocations and the ouster of two ministers.

Following the resignations of the ministers, the railways portfolio was given as an additional charge to Road and Highways Minister C.P. Joshi and the law ministry was handed over to Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal.


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