Speculations over Virbhadra being dropped from Union cabinet; shifted from Steel ministry

Shimla: Speculations were rife in the state capital today over possibility of dropping of Virbhadra Singh as Minister for steel from the Union Cabinet in the reshuffle scheduled for today evening.

Sources said that eight ministers were in the ‘danger zone’ and could be dropped in today’s cabinet reshuffle. These included Kamal Nath (highways), Veerappa Moily (law) S Jaipal Reddy (urban development), M S Gill (sports), Virbhadra Singh (steel), Vilasrao Deshmukh (heavy industry), B K Handique (mines) and A Sai Pratap (MoS-Steel).

Virbhadra Singh is facing a tough time back home in Himachal Pradesh with the registering of criminal case in the CD case.

There was also a rumor of change in portfolio of another Himachal cabinet minister Anand Sharma who is Minister of Commerce in the Union government. However, a source close to the minister dismissed this saying the party was happy with his performance. Earlier the news had come that Anand Sharma may be shifted to Ministry of External Affairs where he had served as a Minister of State in the UPA-1 tenure.

The swearing in ceremony of the new minister will take place today evening at 5 pm at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Update at 5 pm

Virbhadra Singh has been shifted to insignificant Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises where as there has been no change in the portfolio of Anand Sharma.

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