PM non-committal on Cabinet expansion
New Delhi: Amid reports of a Cabinet expansion after the exit of Union ministers PK Bansal and Ashwani Kumar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said there are vacancies in his team but was non-committal about whether he will induct new members.
Asked if there is a possibility of a Cabinet expansion in the near future, Singh said, "Well, there are vacancies."
He was talking to reporters at the fourth anniversary dinner of the UPA-II government.
Singh did not elaborate on the issue.
Ever since Bansal and Kumar had to resign from the Cabinet in the wake of charges of wrongdoing, there have been murmurs that Singh will have to induct new ministers. Bansal had quit the Railway Ministry after he came under a cloud in a cash-for-transfer case involving his nephew.
Kumar had to resign from the Law Ministry after the CBI told the Supreme Court that he had vetted and made changes in the status report of the agency on the coal scam.
The strength of the Cabinet has shrunk since UPA ally DMK walked out of the ruling coalition. It had three Cabinet Ministers- A Raja, M Alagiri and Dayanidhi Maran.
Raja had resigned on the 2G Spectrum issue, Maran due to his alleged involvement in the Aircel-Maxis deal while Alagiri quit when DMK decided to walk out of the coalition on the grounds that India is not doing enough against Sri Lanka on the issue of atrocities against Tamilians in the neighbouring country.
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