Congress stalwarts to control Cabinet


  • AseanPlus News
  • Friday, 21 May 2004

NEW DELHI: Stalwarts of India's Congress party are expected to dominate the Cabinet of the new coalition government but the finance ministry could go to a non-politician, party sources said yesterday. 

The top name for foreign minister was Kunwar Natwar Singh, a former junior foreign minister who attended most meetings between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and international dignitaries. 

C. Rangarajan, chairman of the appointed Finance Commission that guides economic policy, was being frequently mentioned in political circles as finance minister, party sources said on condition of anonymity. 

Incoming prime minister Manmohan Singh, himself a former civil servant and finance minister, was said to favour the “professional” Rangarajan but could keep the finance portfolio himself. 

Other potential names for the post include former central bank governor Bimal Jalan and former finance ministers Pranab Mukherjee and P. Chidambarum. 

Other potential home ministers include party veterans Arjun Singh, who held the post in the last Congress government that took power in 1991, and Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Congress leader in Kashmir. 

Congress is ruling in coalition with some 20 parties. – AFP  

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