First Cabinet Expansion May be Putt off

The first expansion of the Cabinet scheduled for Tuesday may not material on due date due to the Trinamool Congress’ demand for an extra MoS berth, reports said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi postponed their scheduled meeting on Tuesday in which portfolios of the Congress nominees were to be finalized. Singh and Gandhi had a four hour long meeting on Monday also.

As of now, there is no official information on when the two leaders will be meeting.

It may be mentioned that there has been jockeying within the Congress for plum portfolios among those already inducted and those yet to be named to join the ministry.

In the view of this scenario, the scheduled swearing-in on Tuesday evening may be put off to Thursday in view of tomorrow being the death anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru.

Though there was no official word on the swearing-in ceremony, it was hoped that the expansion could be held on Tuesday with the nominees of Trinamool Congress and DMK already in or on their way to Delhi.

In the first installment, only 19 ministers were inducted along with the Prime Minister on May 22 and portfolios have been allocated to only six ministers.

The May 22 swearing-in was a truncated affair as DMK, a key constituent of the UPA, was unhappy over the number of ministerial berths being offered by the Congress and threatened to support the government from outside.

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