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'50 ministers may be inducted in next expansion'

May 26, 2009 20:55 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi remained busy for yet another day trying to balance and fine-tune aspirations of the party MPs fiercely lobbying for berths in the expansion of the Union Ministry that has been now pushed off from Tuesday to Thursday or even Friday.

Rashtrapathi Bhavan insiders say at least 50 ministers are expected to be sworn in.

Sources say Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi took note of a newspaper advertisement released by Muslim intellectuals. The advertisement apparently expressed displeasure that their community was left out of the first-round Cabinet induction.    

President Pratibha Patil is not keeping well and hence the second swearing-in on Wednesday is ruled out. In any case, the ministry expansion is not being planned on Wednesday since it happens to be the death anniversary of first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Congress sources said.

A Correspondent in New Delhi