K Rehman Khan, Dinsha Patel, Ajay Maken, Pallam Raju, Ashwani Kumar, Harish Rawat and Chandresh Kumari to be sworn-in as Cabinet ministers.
– Chiranjeevi and Manish Tewari sworn-in as Ministers of State (Independent charge).
13 Ministers of State including Shashi Tharoor, Tariq Anwar, K Suresh, K Jayasuyraprakash Reddy, A H Khan Chowdhry and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhry, to be sworn-in.
– Lalchand Kataria, Ranee Narah, S Satyanarayana, Ninong Ering sworn-in as MoS
– Veerappa Moily to get Petroleum ministry
– Tariq Anwar likely to be MoS Agriculture
– Deepa Dasmunsi sworn-in, to be minister of State and Culture
– Kruparani Killi sworn-in
– Sarvey Sathyanarayan sworn-in
– Shashi Tharoor likely to be MOS HRD Ministry
– Salman Khurshid to be Minister of External Affairs
– Ashwani Kumar likely to get Law Ministry
Among the ministers of state, Harish Rawat, KH Muniaappa, Sachin Pilot, Purandeswari and Jyotiraditya Scindia could be promoted – some to cabinet rank, others with independent charge.
While Sangma put in her papers after she campaigned for her father PA Sangma in the presidential poll, Pala and Khandela have been roped in for party work.
Commerce minister Anand Sharma is being touted as the new external affairs minister but no senior Congress functionary confirmed it.
Shashi Tharoor, former minister of state for external affairs, is likely to stage a comeback.
The NCP’s Tariq Anwar will be the only new entrant from the alliance parties in an otherwise all-Congress reshuffle. He may become a minister of state of agriculture. The DMK leadership h
Salman Khurshid, age 59, will replace 80-year-old SM Krishna, who was External Affairs Minister till Friday. Mr Khurshid was the Law Minister and was also handling Minority Affairs, which will now be assigned to A Rahman Khan. Mr Khurshid’s promotion comes amid a noisy clatter of charges of financial malpractice by his NGO in Uttar Pradesh. By giving him one of the four crucial portfolios (Finance, External Affairs, Home, Defence), his party is defying both the BJP and the activists who prop up Arvind Kejriwal, who formed his own party earlier this month, and has been insisting that Mr Khurshid should be dismissed till an inquiry determines whether his non-profit organization embezzled lakhs meant for the differently-abled.
The other significant change is Law Minister Veerappa Moily moving to the petroleum ministry in the midst of an on-going conflict between Reliance and the ministry over revising the cost of gas that the corporate giant is extracting from the Krishna Godavari basin. The ministry was with Jaipal Reddy, who is now going to the education ministry, which Kapil Sibal is losing. Shashi Tharoor makes a comeback as junior minister in HRD. Mr Tharoor was forced to resign after allegations of a conflict of interest in his backing of an IPL cricket team linked to his wife, Sunanda Pushkar. Today, she was seen filming Mr Tharoor swearing in on her iPhone.
Tariq Anwar of the NCP replaced his party’s Agatha Sangma, who at 38 was ironically the youngest member of the cabinet. Mr Anwar will get minister of state in his party chief Sharad Pawar’s ministry of agriculture.
Pawan Kumar Bansal will get Railways but lose Parliamentary Affairs to Kamal Nath, who will keep Urban Development.
The new faces in government will include first timers Manish Tewari, who moves from spokesperson of the Congress to Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting; Deepa Dasmunshi from West Bengal who is junior minister for Culture and Hashim Khan Choudhury, also from Bengal, will be sworn-in.
Within the government, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot and R P N Singh will be assigned new roles. Mr Scindia is likely to get independent charge of Power, Mr Pilot will have independent charge of Corporate Affairs and Mr Singh moves as Minister of State for Home. None of them have been given cabinet rank, as was being speculated. All of them are second generation Congress leaders.
Sports Minister Ajay Maken is also likely to move up the ladder to a full cabinet minister’s rank. This is an attempt by the Congress to balance power in Delhi, where Mr Maken is perceived to be competing for power and turf with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Mrs Dikshit’s son Sandeep was recently elevated to national spokesperson for the Congress.
The reshuffle, like always, has also kept regional representation – state politics in other words – in mind. Telugu superstar and politician Chiranjeevi has been rewarded with the Tourism Ministry for merging his party, the PRP, with the Congress. That acquisition has allowed the fragile Congress government a stronger footing in the key state of Andhra Pradesh. D Purandeshwari, also from AP and was minister of state in the HRD ministry, is likely to get a promotion.
Uttarakhand veteran Harish Rawat will also be inducted into government – his compensation for not being made chief minister when Congress won the state earlier this year.
West Bengal, where the Congress’ battle with Mamata Banerjee has escalated after her walk-out from the government, will see three cabinet positions. Mrs Dasmunshi is also Ms Banerjee’s main rival in the state. Mr Khan Choudhury is related to the late veteran A B A Ghani Khan Choudhury. The state, with a considerable Muslim vote, goes to local polls next year. But there might be some discomfort with the fact that there is no full cabinet minister from the state.