Maha CM leaves a vacuum in Delhi

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 12 2010, 04:06am hrs
The departure of Prithviraj Chavan from Delhi to take up his new job as Maharashtra chief minister has created quite a vacuum in the Union Cabinet as Chavan was handling five ministries, some of them crucial ones like personnel and parliamentary affairs.

While Kapil Sibal has been given additional charge of the science & technology and Earth Sciences, its Chavan's crucial portfolios of personnel and training which has the CBI under it his post as minister of state in the PMO and his other responsibility as minister of state for Parliamentary affairs, which will be the real tough jobs to fill.

Government sources have confirmed that a reshuffle will take place after the Winter Session, possibly after the Januray 14, or Makar Sankranti day.

But it could be earlier also as the session will end on December 10, said a top government source.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had in fact earlier wanted to hold a reshuffle in between the Monsoon and Winter Sessions of Parliament and that too a very comprehensive one, however, that could not be done as the visit of US President Obama, brought forward the Winter Session by two weeks, said the source.

Several names have already started doing the rounds for the all important job of MoS PMO, who holds the key to interfacing between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Information and technology minister Sachin Pilot and minister of state for home Ajay Maken are some names doing the rounds.

Chavan's range of duties will be split up and new faces will be seen in the next Cabinet reshuffle, is all a senior Congress minister was willing to say on the matter.

As of now, the Prime Minister is off to Seoul, Korea, possibly pondering over just how to accomplish the delicate balancing act of the reshuffle.