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No minister has offered to quit: Congress

Delhi,Politics, Wed, 25 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The Congress Wednesday dismissed rumours that five union cabinet ministers had offered to quit and work to strengthen the party and denied that any such communication has been made to party chief Sonia Gandhi.


"These are internal matters of the party which normally should not have been discussed in media. But since media had taken up this issue Tuesday, I want to make it clear that Congress president has neither received any such letter nor anyone has said this thing to her verbally," Congress's media department chairman Janardan Dwivedi told IANS.


Later spokesperson Rashid Alvi too said the same thing at the party's official briefing in the parliament building.


Political circles in the national capital were agog Tuesday with reports that five central ministers had offered to quit their posts and serve the party thus indicating that preparations were afoot for a major reshuffle in both the party and the government in the run up to the 2014 general elections.


The cabinet members whose names were doing the rounds were Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, Health & Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi and Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy.


While, Ravi had denied writing any such letter, both Khurshid and Narayanasamy had said "party comes first".


But sources in the party have not ruled out the possibility of a reshuffle in the organisational structure and the cabinet after the ongoing budget session ends May 22.


An indication of this is a strategy review meeting called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence Tuesday evening which was attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Khurshid and Ahmed Patel, the Congress president's political adviser.


However, sources described it as a regular affair during every parliamentary session when Gandhi reviews the current political situation and the strategy in parliament.


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