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Union Cabinet reshuffle tomorrow

New Delhi: A reshuffle of the Union Cabinet, which could be the last before the Lok Sabha elections slated for 2014, will take place tomorrow.

The Cabinet reshuffle will take place at 11:30 AM tomorrow, Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Venu Rajamony said today. The reshuffle is expected to see induction of new faces.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna sent his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday after apparently being told of plans to revamp the Cabinet. It has since been accepted.

Krishna said he was stepping down to pave the way for youngsters and strengthen the hands of leadership for strengthening the party.

Reports also emerged that Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and Social Justice Minister Mukul Wasnik also had offered to quit to work for the party.

Whether Rahul Gandhi would join the government is still a matter of conjecture even as the Prime Minister held consultations with Congress President Sonia Gandhi yesterday, apparently to give final touches to the exercise.

Some more Ministers are likely to quit ahead of the reshuffle, which could be the last before the Lok Sabha elections slated for 2014.

Among the probables for induction are actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi, whose 18 MLAs provide stability to the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh after the merger of his party PRP.

The possible names of the successors in the External Affairs Ministry include Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.

The other changes could include ministers holding dual portfolio shedding one of their responsibilities.

Younger ministers like Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora and Jyotiraditya Scindia are likely to be upgraded.

There have been berths vacated by DMK representatives A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran in the last two years after their names cropped in the 2G scam. However, DMK President M Karunanidhi had recently made clear that his party will not not like to reclaim their lost berths.

There is speculation that some young faces, considered close to Rahul, like Manicka Tagore and Meenakshi Natarajan could be inducted into the council of ministers.

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