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Cabinet reshuffle today, major changes in portfolios expected

New Delhi , Wed, 19 Jan 2011 ANI

New Delhi, Jan 19 (ANI): The reshuffle and expansion of Union Council of Ministers will take place this evening.


Official sources said the swearing-in ceremony is likely to be held at 5 p.m.


On Tuesday, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, met Congress President Sonia Gandhi to finalise the list of people likely to be included in the Union Cabinet.


The speculation in the Congress was, however, as many eight ministers could be in the 'danger zone'.


They include Kamal Nath (Highways), Veerappa Moily (Law) S Jaipal Reddy (Urban Development), M S Gill (Sports), Virbhadra Singh (Steel), Vilasrao Deshmukh (Heavy Industry), B K Handique (Mines) and A Sai Pratap (MoS-steel).


On the other hand, the names of CP Joshi (Rural Development), Kanitlal Bhuria (Tribal Affairs) and V Narayanasamy, figured among those who might leave the government to take up AICC work.


Kumari Selja, who holds urban poverty alleviation and tourism, could be shifted to urban development in place of S Jaipal Reddy.


Salman Khurshid, Minister of State (MoS-Independent charge) for Minority Affairs and Corporate Affairs could be getting promotion as the new Law Minister - in place of Veerappa Moily. Ajay Maken, currently MoS in Home, could move to Sports and Youth Affairs in place of Gill.


Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has Health Ministry, may take charge of Parliamentary Affairs.


While the telecom portfolio is expected to remain with Congress in view of DMK"s handling of the charge pushing the government towards a virtual crisis, it is not clear that Kapil Sibal would be divested of any portfolio. He has charge of HRD, telecom and science and technology.


Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia is tipped to be the Minister of State for External Affairs. The post was left vacant after Shashi Tharoor resigned in the wake of the Indian Premier League (IPL) controversy.


Sharad Pawar, who currently holds three portfolios, could be divested of Food and Public Distribution.hile there were different versions in the political circles about the nature of the reshuffle, it was clear that the "big four" in the cabinet - Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister AK Antony, Home Minister P Chidambaram and External Affairs Minister SM Krishna - will retain their portfolios.


The cabinet reshuffle will be followed by the constitution of a new Congress Working Committee, which will include many of the ministers moved out. (ANI)


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