Union Minister for Railways,Surface Transport and Highways C P Joshi joined Ajay Maken and resigned as Cabinet minister ahead of a possible reshuffle of the Union Cabinet on Monday.
Both the Congress leaders had tendered their resignations on Saturday night.And President Pranab Mukherjee accepted both resignations on Sunday with immediate effect, a statement from the Rashtrapati Bhawan said.
Congress sources said that more ministers are likely to resign, which could include Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who will take up different roles within the party ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
The much-touted reshuffle is likely to take place on Monday evening, according to a Rashtrapati Bhawan spokesperson.
Joshi stepped down after receiving “directives” from Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi, party sources said.
“Whatever new role the party assigns me I will perform that to the best of my ability,” Joshi tweeted.
Maken who resigned as Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has already said that he wants to work for the party. Maken’s resignation comes even as Delhi prepares to go to the Assembly polls later this year. The upcoming Cabinet reshuffle is the second one since October and is likely to be the last one ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha polls.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be looking to fill several portfolios that have been lying vacant. Vacancies were created when P K Bansal and Ashwani Kumar quit the cabinet.
Bansal resigned as Railway Minister in May after his nephew and a Railway Board member were embroiled in a bribery scandal. Kumar quit as Law Minister in the wake of a controversy that he had vetted a CBI investigation report on the coal block allocation scam. Other Cabinet positions that are yet to be filled up, include the berths left vacant after the TMC and the DMK pulled out of UPA-II. Five MoS and one Cabinet minister from the DMK had resigned. The DMK ministers held MoS berths in Finance, Commerce and Industry, Health and Family Welfare and Social Justice Ministries while M K Alagiri was the sole Cabinet minister of Chemical and Fertilisers.