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|October 12, 1999||
60-member Union council likely to be sworn-in
A 60-member A B Vajpayee government is likely to be sworn in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan tomorrow morning, according to highly placed ruling party sources.
Indications are that there may not be any shift in portfolios held by senior ministers in the previous government. In particular, the portfolios held by Yashwant Sinha (finance), Jaswant Singh (external affairs), L K Advani (home), Murli Manohar Joshi (human resource development), and George Fernandes (defence) are not likely to be disturbed.
This is being done to ensure continuity in sensitive ministries.
The Trinamul Congress is all set to get the prestigious railway ministry. Speculation is that DMK leader Murasoli Maran will be given the commerce ministry in place of Ramakrishna Hegde. The DMK will have two cabinet berths and a minister of state. Former Union minister T R Baalu is likely to get the surface transport ministry with cabinet status.
The other DMK member likely to be inducted is Raja, MP from Perambalur.
Sukdev Singh Dhindsa, the Rajya Sabha member from Punjab, and Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala's son Ajay Chautala of the Indian National Lok Dal are also likely to be inducted into the council of ministers.
Kanshiram Rana, BJP member from Gujarat would retain his textile portfolio. Besides him, two others from that state are likely to get ministerial berths. They are Bhavna Chikalia and Hiren Pathak.
The MDMK could be represented by Senji Ramachandran and Kannappan, while the PMK's candidates are Shanmugam and Ponnuswamy. From Rajasthan, besides Jaswant Singh and Vasundhara Raje, the names doing the rounds are Vishvendra Singh, the MP from Bharatpur and Rasasingh Rawat (Ajmer).
Chouba Singh would represent the north east in the council of ministers. Former Maharastra chief minister Manohar Joshi and Suresh Prabhu are likely to be the Shiv Sena candidates in the council of ministers.
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