Jayanthi quits cabinet; Jairam, Pilot may follow

PTI, NEW DELHI | 21 December 2013 16:05 IST

In a shake up ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan resigned today from the Union Council of Ministers and more may be in line for being drafted into party work.

The resignation of 59-year-old Natarajan, Minister of State with independent charge of Environment and Forests, has been accepted by the President, a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said.

It also said that Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily will hold additional charge of the Environment Ministry.Natarajan, a senior member of Rajya Sabha doing a third term, hails from Tamil Nadu and was brought into the ministry two years ago.

Sources said Natarajan, who has, of late, been more visible on television channels defending the party, may be drafted for organisation work.

Sources said there could be some more ministers who could resign to be brought to party organisation in preparation for the elections.


Names doing the speculative rounds in this regard are Jairam Ramesh (Rural Development), Sachin Pilot (Corporate Affairs) and Jitender Singh Bhanwar (MoS-Defence).

In the wake of the rout in Rajasthan Assembly elections, Pilot's name is being talked about as a possible PCC chief.

There is also talk of a reshuffle in the AICC in which some general secretaries may be dropped.

Bhanwar, considered close to Rahul Gandhi, is a possible candidate for general secretaryship in the AICC. He had earlier been an AICC Secretary.

In line for change is PCC chief's post in Haryana which may go to AICC Secretary Ashok Tanwar.

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