Former Indian ambassador to the United States Karan Singh is among those being considered for the post of foreign minister by the United Progressive Alliance [ Images ] government.
"Singh's name has been shortlisted, but we are not sure about his health and a few other things," said a source in the Congress party.
Apparently, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukerjee has requested Congress president Sonia Gandhi [ Images ] and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [ Images ] not to allot him the ministry again as he doesn't wish to travel at his age. The newly elected member of Parliaiment from Jangipur, West Bengal [ Images ], is 73 years old. Instead, Mukherjee would like the finance ministry, which he was given charge of when Dr Singh was hospitalised for a bypass surgery in January this year. Prior to this, Mukherjee was finance minister under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi [ Images ] from 1982 to 1984.
National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah [ Images ] is also keen on joining the UPA government and get a plum posting, it is learnt.
His son and Jammu and Kashmir [ Images ] Chief Minister Omar Abdullah [ Images ] lashed out at the media on Monday, saying that his father will not go with 'a begging bowl' to New Delhi [ Images ]. If at all the former J&K chief minister gets a Cabinet berth, the inclusion of Karan Singh -- son of the former maharaja of Kashmir -- would be a balancing factor.
Congress leaders say Dr Singh, who is highly involved in the external affairs ministry, will most likely make his own choice rather than naming a person suggested by the party.
However, no decision is expected before Wednesday evening, a source said.