Sonia holds parleys with ministers amid talk of cabinet rejig

sonia gandhiNEW DELHI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi today held parleys with some union ministers and senior party leaders amid indications of a Cabinet reshuffle.

Those who met Gandhi at her official residence at 10 Janpath included Road and Transport Minister C P Joshi, who has been given additional charge of Railways after resignation of Trinamool Congress ministers including Mukul Roy from the government.

Gandhi also had a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan whose name is doing the rounds for a Cabinet berth at the Centre, along with Narayan Rane and some others.

AICC in charge for Maharashtra Mohan Prakash also met Gandhi.

Sources said Maharashtra will be represented in the Cabinet after two vacancies were created following shifting of Chavan as Chief Minister and the demise of Vilasrao Deshmukh.

The Congress president also held deliberations with Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, AICC treasurer Motilal Vora and her secretary Ahmed Patel.

There was earlier a talk that Azad could be drafted for party work. However, there was no confirmation.

According to Congress sources, a reshuffle could be a substantial affair with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh giving ample hint of pursuing the reforms agenda.

With six ministers from TMC leaving, two to three Congress leaders from West Bengal are expected to be accommodated. The names of Deepa Dashmunshi and Adhir Choudhury, known detractors of TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and West Bengal PCC chief Pradeep Bhatacharjee are doing the rounds.

A reshuffle of the AICC secretariat is also on the cards and Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi is expected to get a larger responsibility in the organization.

The exercise could see some of the ministers holding charges of two ministries losing one of the portfolios.

Beni Prasad Verma, Kapil Sibal, C P Joshi, Veerappa Moily and Vayalar Ravi are some of the ministers holding charge of two ministries. -PTI

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