New Delhi, Oct.27 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday accepted the resignation of seven cabinet ministers on the advice of the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, even as there were reports of former Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor returning to the Union Cabinet in Sunday's expected reshuffle.
The ministers whose resignations have been accepted are: S.M. Krishna (Minister of External Affairs), Ambika Soni (Minister of Information and Broadcasting), Mukul Wasnik (Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment), Subodh Kant Sahay (Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment), Mahadeo Singh Khandela (Minister of State for Tribal Affairs), Vincent Pala (Minister of State for Water Resources and Minority Affairs) and Agatha Sangma (Minister of State for Rural Development).
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma is likely to be the country's next External Affairs Minister, while Minister of State for Human Resource Development Daggubati Purandeswari likely to become Commerce Minister. Minister of State for Mines Dinshaw Patel is likely to be promoted to full cabinet rank in view of the upcoming state assembly elections in Gujarat. Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat and Rajya Sabha member from Jharkhand Pradeep Balmuchu are also likely to be upgraded, according to sources.
Meanwhile, five-time Andhra Pradesh Congress MP Samba Shiva Rao has quit from the party for not being considered for ministerial office. The party and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are still trying to convince him not to take the step.
Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari will continue to be the spokesman of the Congress Party.
Krishna, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday, a day after his resignation was accepted, is likely to head the Finance Commission. He also called on President Pranab Mukherjee. There is talk of the younger generation of Congress leaders such as Sachin Pilot, Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh, Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia and Milind Deora being elevated. Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Ajay Maken too may be shifted to another more important ministry.
It is expected that after the reshuffle of the cabinet, the Congress may go in for an organizational change. (ANI)