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Rahul Gandhi meets PM amid talk of cabinet reshuffle

Wednesday October 17, 2012 06:57:18 PM, IANS

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 relieved.

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.




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