Denying reports of his likely move back to the ministry of external affairs, Union finance minister Jaswant Singh told a news conference here on Wednesday that he was not changing jobs. I am afraid I am not leaving the finance ministry, Mr Singh told reporters.
STAYING POWER: Finance Minister Jaswant Singh at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday
This categorical clarification should set at rest widespread speculation both within the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its fraternal organisations, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), reflected in the media. FE
reported a move within the BJP to bring human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi to finance, with Mr Singh returning to external affairs and Yashwant Sinha moving to HRD.
FE also reported that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is mulling a Cabinet reshuffle necessitated at the time by the resignation of Ananth Kumar.
With railway minister Nitish Kumar pressing his resignation, the PM may yet come under pressure to re-organise his council of ministers before the monsoon session of Parliament.
Supporters of Dr Joshi have been actively canvassing his move to finance.