PM to ease Pawar’s burden, reshuffle Cabinet

PM Singh is likely to reshuffle his Cabinet before the Monsoon Session of Parl.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to reshuffle his Cabinet before the Monsoon Session of Parliament later this month, informed sources said Tuesday, a day after Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar asked that his ministerial burden be reduced.

The top government source, however, refused to say what kind of changes Manmohan Singh would bring in the Cabinet.

Pawar, who last week assumed charge as president of the International Cricket Council, also holds additional charge of food and consumer affairs and public distribution.

"It is up to Pawar to decide which portfolio he wants to retain," the source said, adding the ministry Pawar opts out of would be given to a Congress MP. "Discussions regarding this have begun in the Congress."

The Nationalist Congress Party chief had met the Prime Minister Monday and said he wanted to devote more time to do party work.

The Prime Minister assured him that the matter would be discussed with him at an "appropriate time".

Currently, KV Thomas is the only minister of state to assist Pawar in both the ministries.

Pawar, who came under fire from the Opposition in Parliament over the rising food prices, said he had asked the Prime Minister six months ago to relieve him of some of his ministerial duties.


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