The West Bengal Congress is vying for three Cabinet and two MoS positions. Sources say they may get at least one.
The Science and Technology ministry that fell vacant after Vilasrao Deshmukh’s death will go to someone from Maharashtra; Vyalar Ravi holds additional charge of the ministry. HRD is likely to get a new minister. Kapil Sibal holds the portfolio along with IT and telecom. Andhra Pradesh and representatives from Telangana are expected to gain in the reshuffle—Chiranjeevi and Renuka Choudhury are in the race. It is believed that Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy’s portfolio may be changed.
Sources say DMK chieftain M Karunanidhi hasn’t yet decided on laying claim to the two Cabinet slots vacated by his party to protest Kanimozhi’s arrest in the 2G scam. The buzz is about the emergence of the UPA’s new guard.
The new Team Manmohan comprises Chidambaram, AK Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is trying to resolve the Telangana mess. Sonia’s powerful political secretary Ahmed Patel and Minister of State Rajiv Shukla have been handling BSP chief Mayawati and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav so far. Their confabulations with the two rivals began in June, when they started talks to allow Mukherjee a smooth sail to Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- Sunday Standard