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Cabinet reshuffle: Why UPA allies were left out

January 20, 2011 17:13 IST

The Centre on Thursday said the United Progressive Alliance allies were not covered in the reshuffle of the Council of Ministers in view of the upcoming assembly elections in various states.

"It was not that big a reshuffle. Only the portfolios were shuffled," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said while briefing media on the Cabinet meeting.

She noted that UPA allies were not covered in Wednesday's reshuffle as it was not apt to do so in view of the upcoming assembly elections.

Assembly elections are scheduled to take place in a few months in West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Soni said an expansion could take place after the budget session of Parliament as she referred to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in this regard.

Dr Singh had said that an 'expansive' reshuffle would be undertaken after the budget session.

The budget session will begin on February 21 and is expected to go on till May.

To questions on the rejig undertaken on Wednesday, Soni said it would help bring new thinking and experience on the basis of specific capabilities of various ministers.

"Every reshuffle has a benefit," she said, adding that Wednesday's exercise would give a new chance to various ministers.

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