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Mahajan, Bharti may be
drafted for party duty
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi |
January 29, 2003 00:33 IST
Union ministers Pramod Mahajan, Ananth Kumar and Uma Bharti looked set to exit the Union Cabinet on Tuesday as Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee planned a major reshuffle of his council of ministers. The new team is likely to be announced on Wednesday.
All three, party sources said, are likely to be drafted for party duty.
Bharatiya Janata Party general secretaries Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh are certain to be inducted into Vajpayee's new team.
C P Thakur, who lost the heath portfolio to Shatrughan Sinha in the last reshuffle, is likely to return to the Cabinet. Former Gujarat chief minister, Keshubhai Patel, may also get a Cabinet berth.
Union Tourism Minister Jagmohan is likely to be appointed government's special envoy to the northeast, a top Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.
With government's talks with rebel National Socialist Council of Nagaland (I-M) entering a crucial stage, the prime minister is keen on putting a trusted political aide in charge of the negotiations.
Jana Krishnamurthy, who was made law minister after being asked to step down as BJP chief mid-way through his tenure, has also been asked to put in his papers following reports that he was not keeping good health, sources said.
Coal Minister Uma Bharati is understood to have already sent her resignation to the prime minister. She is likely to take over as chief of the party's Madhya Pradesh unit.
Minister of State for Personnel Vasundhara Raje Scindia, who has been made chief of the BJP's Rajasthan unit, may also resign to devote herself completely to the party's poll preparations in the state.
Madhya Pradesh goes to polls in November this year.
A BJP source said Satish Pradhan of the Shiv Sena is likely to get the heavy industries portfolio, which was held by his party colleague, Manohar Joshi, before he was elected Lok Sabha speaker.
Some Other names that are being mentioned for possible induction into the Union Cabinet are: Jaskaur Meena from Rajasthan, Dalit leader Sanghpriya Gautam and Dilip Sing Judeo of Chattisgarh.