PM, Sonia Gandhi meet President Pranab Mukherjee amid talk of Cabinet reshuffle on Friday

New Delhi: The Prime Minister today met President Pranab Mukherjee and he is likely to be followed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi this evening. The meetings have set abuzz speculation of a cabinet reshuffle again, perhaps even as soon as this Friday.

The earlier rumour of a reshuffle died out after it was calculated, mainly by the media, that there was no “auspicious period” till today, October 16.

The PM met the President for an hour before he left for Hyderabad to address a conference on biodiverstity. Mrs Gandhi is also likely to do take the same amount of time.

There is some speculation that the visits could be connected to the situation in Telangana, where there is a demand for separate state to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh, a state run by the Congress.

There is also speculation that the Congress top two – the PM and Mrs Gandhi — could well be meeting the President to wish for the Durga Puja, which will be celebrated from this weekend till Tuesday next week.

Even when Mr Mukherjee was a minister in government, a very busy one at that, he used to take four days off every year to celebrate the pujas in his village in West Bengal. This year too, he is scheduled to visit his village.

Six ministries are up for grabs since Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress pulled out of the Congress-led coalition government in September in protest against the decision to open up India’s vast retail market to international super-stores like Wal-mart.

There was also the buzz that one of the four big ministries — home, finance, external affairs and defence — could see a change.

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