New Delhi: Congress
general secretary Rahul Gandhi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Wednesday for a "routine meeting", party sources said as
speculation gained ground about a likely cabinet reshuffle.
The meeting with the prime minister at his 7, Race Course Road
residence comes in the wake of speculation that Rahul Gandhi may
join the cabinet. The prime minister has invited him to join his
team several times in the past, but the young leader always
declined, choosing instead to focus on strengthening the party.
"Yes, he (Rahul Gandhi) met the prime minister," a Congress source
told IANS, but refused to divulge what was discussed, saying it
was a routine meeting between the two.
Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi met President
Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday, sparking off rumours about a likely
cabinet reshuffle that has been on the cards for some time.
Speculation about a cabinet reshuffle has been doing the rounds
since the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress quit the United
Progressive Alliance (UPA) last month, leaving six posts vacant.
C.P. Joshi, minister of state for road transport and highways, was
given the additional charge of the railways portfolio after
Trinamool Congress's Mukul Roy resigned.
Two ministerial slots vacated by the DMK earlier also have to be
filled up. Besides, ministers holding dual charges are to be
Congress sources last month hinted that the much-awaited reshuffle
could happen after Oct 15, following the end of the two-week
shradh period, considered inauspicious by Hindus.
The Navratri period Oct 16-23 this year is considered auspicious
and could see changes in the government, said party sources,
adding that the exercise may happen after Dusshera Oct 24 as well.