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PM to meet Prez, might discuss cabinet reshuffle

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to call on President Pratibha Patil this evening amid speculation that a reshuffle of the Union Council of Ministers is on the cards later this week.

Singh may apprise the President of his intention to expand his ministry ahead of the Budget session which is likely to start in the third week of February.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had detailed deliberations with Singh more than twice in the last week, apparently to plan out the exercise, which would be the first after the UPA-II came to power in May 2009.

A reconstitution of the AICC Secretariat is also on the cards in which some ministers are expected to be drafted for party work.

There has been no representation to three states in the Union ministry — Chhattisgarh, Goa and Manipur.

The Prime Minister may utilise the opportunity to inject fresh blood by inducting younger faces.

Ministers like Sharad Pawar and Kapil Sibal are holding more than one portfolio and are likely to shed some of them.

There are some vacancies including that created by the resignation of A Raja, Prithviraj Chavan and Shashi Tharoor.

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