A Cabinet reshuffle is on the cards as a result of the Trinamool Congress’s exit from the UPA. Sources say the Congress is keen on keeping the Railway portfolio after Trinamool Minister Mukul Roy walks out. Sources say Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh could be shifted to Railway, becoming the third Railway Minister in one year. The last Railway Minister from the Congress was Suresh Kalmadi in 1995.
The big four – Defence Minister AK Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and External Affairs Minister SM Krishna are likely to stay.
Younger faces like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sachin Pilot will be upgraded, according to sources. Sources say Deepa Dasmunsi is likely to be made a minister. However, no change is likely in the Chief Ministers.
Rehman Khan is likely to get the Minority Affairs portfolio. Minister of State for Planning, Science and Technology and Earth sciences Ashwani Kumar is also likely to be upgraded.
The burden of ministers holding double charge is likely to be lessened. Power Minister Veerappa Moily may lose the Corporate Affairs Ministry. Veerappa Moily and Vayalar Ravi hold dual charges like Corporate Affairs and Power and Overseas Affairs and Science and Technology respectively.
Moily got Power after the elevation of Sushilkumar Shinde to Home and Ravi got Science and Technology after the death of Vilasrao Deshmukh.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has been holding Telecommunication ever since A Raja of DMK was forced to quit in the wake of 2G spectrum allocation controversy in November, 2010.
Rajya Sabha MP Chiranjeevi is likely to be made a minister. NCP’s Tariq Anwar is likely to to replace Agatha Sangma. Rahul Gandhi aide and Congress MP Meenakshi Natarajan is also likely to be made a minister of state.
Some ministers may be sent to the party for preparations for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Sources say the reshuffle is likely to happen as early as next week.