|Former Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna replies to media at his residence in New Delhi, India, Oct. 27, 2012. Four senior Indian ministers, including External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, tendered their resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday, clearly indicating that a major Cabinet reshuffle is on the cards Sunday. (Xinhua/Partha Sarkar)
NEW DELHI, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Four senior Indian ministers, including External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, tendered their resignations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday, clearly indicating that a major Cabinet reshuffle is on the cards Sunday.
The External Affairs Minister, who announced his resignation Friday night, met the Prime Minister this morning and formally submitted his resignation paper. "It is time for youngsters to take over," the 80-year-old Krishna said after his meeting with Singh.
Krishna, who became External Affairs Minister when the Congress- led United Progressive Alliance government won reelection in 2009, however, said he would continue to work for the Congress party.
Political experts believe that Krishna's removal was imminent as his influence on foreign policy has been limited, with key decisions having been taken by the Prime Minister. They said he is likely to go back to his native southern state of Karnataka, where he had served as the Chief Minister for five years between 1999 and 2004.
Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma or Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal is likely to become the country's next External Affairs Minister, experts said.
Three other senior ministers -- Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik, and Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay followed suit, tendering their letters of resignation to the Prime Minister at his official residence in the national capital.
Sources said that the cabinet reshuffle is likely to take place Sunday and some younger and new faces could be inducted into the cabinet and a major organizational revamp in the Congress party is also on the cards.
The scion of Nehru-Gandhi family, Rahul Gandhi, is likely to take up a bigger role in the Congress party and could well be made the Working President of the party and take over the day to day functioning from his mother and party chief Sonia Gandhi, the sources said.
Congress has been the dominant political party in India since the country got its independence in 1947 from the British. But since its reelection for the second consecutive term in 2009, the party has been tainted by allegations of scandals, like telecom scam, the Commonwealth Games scam and the coal scam.
"The latest overhauling of the government and the party is aimed at reviving the fortunes of the Congress ahead of the general elections in 2014," the experts said.