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Cabinet reshuffle: Top 4 portfolios may not be touched

New Delhi: The much-talked about reshuffle and expansion of the Union Council of Ministers will be carried out this evening amid indications that the ‘big four’ incumbents in Finance, Home, Defence and External Affairs may not be disturbed.

There was speculation that Beni Prasad Verma from Uttar Pradesh is being made a Cabinet Minister while Praful Patel may be elevated to Cabinet rank. Ministers of state Ajay Maken and K V Thomas are expected to get independent charge.

This would be the first cabinet reshuffle in the UPA-II after it retained power in May 2009

K C Venugopal, a first timer from Allapuzha, is likely to become Minister of state following the exit of Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor from the Ministry. Kerala is poll bound and Venugopal hails from the influential Nair community.

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