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Rashtrapati Bhavan awaits the list

May 22, 2004 11:41 IST

After a marathon six-hour meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, which ended at 0200 IST on Saturday, Prime Minister-designate Manmohan Singh was this morning finalising his council of ministers to be sworn-in at 1730 IST.

At the time of filing this report, Rashtrapati Bhavan had not been informed about the number of ministers to be sworn in. Sources said it could be 60.

Indications were that Pranab Mukherjee may get home, Natwar Singh external affairs, Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi parliamentary affairs and Manmohan Singh may keep finance to himself for the time being, at least till he presents the United Progressive Alliance government's first budget.

There was no clarity about the portfolio that may be offered to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Laloo Prasad Yadav, though it was widely believed that he had settled for railways.

When contacted by PTI, Yadav declined to comment.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, with 15 MPs, was likely to get three cabinet berths, including IT and communications for Dayanidhi Maran, surface transport for T R Balu and environment and forest for A Raja, party sources said.

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