Cabinet reshuffle on October 23?

October 23 (coming Saturday) could be the date for a Cabinet reshuffle. This is the talk in the Congress circles. But if it does not take place then the aspirants would have to wait till January 14 when uttarayan begins.

Highly placed sources in the party on Tuesday night indicated that the exercise of a reshuffle is on but timing is yet to be decided.
According to the party insiders, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh can change portfolios of ministers on the basis of their performance. If he decides to wait for a outcome of the Shunglu Committee report then a reshuffle could take place in January next.
Speculation is rife that the Prime Minister could carry out the much-talked about exercise before his departure for a three-nation tour on Sunday.
Dr Singh would be away for a week and would be back in time for the AICC meeting scheduled here on November 2.
Diwali falls on November 5 followed by US President Barack Obama’s visit on November 7 and 8 and the Parliament session from November 9, leaving little time for the Prime Minister to carry out the exercise after his return from the foreign tour.
The Prime Minister himself had talked about such a possibility while talking to editors last month.
While NCP supremo and Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has already requested the PM to lessen his ministerial burden. He had said after becoming the ICC chief that he would like the PM to lighten his burden. Mr Pawar is holding charge of several departments and ministries.
On the other hand, Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has not indicated who could replace her as a railway minister if her party wins the West Bengal Assembly polls and she becomes a chief minister.
DMK leader and telecom minister A. Raja is under attack from the Opposition over the alleged 2G spectrum controversy.
In the Congress, the second rung is aspiring for a Cabinet berth on the basis of their performance in Parliament. There are a few vacancies in the ministry, including one following the resignation of Mr Shashi Tharoor as minister of state for external affairs in the wake of the IPL controversy.

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