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Congress core group meets, no Cabinet reshuffle till July 22

July 19, 2008 01:46 IST

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The Congress on Friday ruled out any reshuffle in the Union Council of Ministers till the trust vote on July 22 as the Congress core group headed by party chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] met in Delhi to assess the number of MPs that the ruling UPA has on its side.

The core group, highest decision-making body of the Congress, met at the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] for over an hour to deliberate on latest developments surrounding the government's efforts to muster majority in Parliament in the wake of withdrawal of support by Left parties.

After the meeting, top party sources scotched speculation about the reshuffle in the Council of Ministers, saying there was no such move till the confidence vote on July 22.

The speculation had gained ground in view of reports that the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Rashtriya Lok Dal were negotiating a place in the Council of Ministers in lieu of their support for the government during the trust vote.

Support of the JMM, with five MPs, and the RLD, with three MPs, is crucial for the survival of the government.

At the core group meeting, the party leadership is understood to have assessed the parties and number of MPs that would support the confidence motion.

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