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Rahul Gandhi meets President Last Updated : 18 Oct 2012 02:35:24 PM IST Rahul Gandhi meets President
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday met President Pranab Mukherjee amid speculation of a possible cabinet reshuffle.
It was not immediately clear as to what transpired during the half-an-hour meeting. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi had recently met the President.
Sources said Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also met Mukherjee and briefed him about security-related issues in the country. Shinde had recently undertaken a three-day tour of Jammu and Kashmir during which he had met top state government and security functionaries.
There has been speculation about a reshuffle in the Cabinet for quite some time now, especially after the exit of Trinamool Congress ministers both at the levels of Cabinet and Ministers of State levels.
There have been berths vacated by DMK representatives A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran in the last two years after their names cropped in the 2G scam. However, DMK President M Karunanidhi has recently made clear that his party will not not like to reclaim their lost berths.
Congress sources said that the reshuffle and induction could be largely from the party. There is speculation that some young faces, considered close to Rahul, like Manicka Tagore and Meenakshi Natarajan could be inducted into the council of ministers.
Who are likely to join
Many young faces are likely to join the cabinet considered close to Rahul, like Manicka Tagore and Meenakshi Natarajan could be inducted into the council of ministers.
Some among the young ministers like Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Jitin Prasada may get promoted to Cabinet rank or get independent charge as Minister of State. The exercise could see some of the ministers holding charges of two ministries losing one of the portfolios.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal (Telecom), Road and Transport Minister CP Joshi (Railways), Law Minister Salman Khurshid (Minority Affairs) and Corporate Affairs Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily (Power) and Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi (MSME, S and T and Earth Sciences).
With six ministers from TMC leaving, two to three Congress leaders from West Bengal are expected to be accommodated.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari is also expected to meet Mukherjee on Wednesday.Both Prime Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi separately, met President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday afternoon . It is likely that Rahul would enter the government in the face of strong demands from the party men to assume a "larger" role.
All six ministers of the Trinamool had quit as the party withdrew its support to the UPA government over the issue of increase in the cap for foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail trade last month. Even two of the ministerial quota of the DMK is yet to be filled months after their ceremonious exit from the Cabinet.
DMK leaders T.R. Balu and T.K.S. Elangovan were earlier tipped to take up ministries that belonged to the DMK quota after the resignations of A. Raja and Dayanidhi Maran from the Cabinet as a fall-out of 2G spectrum allocation scam.
The meeting between the Prime Minister and the President lasted for almost one hour. However, there was no official word from Rashtrapati Bhawan as to what was discussed during the meeting.
The end of 'pitr paksh', considered an inauspicious period by Hindus, and the beginning of the navaratra season, set abuzz reports that a change in the government was on the cards, possibly this week. There was no official word on what transpired at the meetings which fuelled fresh speculation about the changes in the Council of Ministers that could take place before Mukherjee leaves on October 20 for his ancestral home in Miriti in West Bengal for Durga Puja festivities.
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