Monday, July 1, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Question mark over Brajesh’s powers
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s expansion-cum-reshuffle of his Council of Ministers here tomorrow has cast a shadow over the power structure with Deputy Minister L.K. Advani emerging as the strongman, eclipsing the all-powerful Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra.

Well-placed sources told The Tribune that for the first time in the past four years, Mr Mishra had been kept out of the Cabinet reshuffle. The Prime Minister this time left the task to Mr Advani.

Mr Advani took the help of External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh in preparing the blueprint for the radical expansion-cum-reshuffle to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan tomorrow evening.

The sources said Mr Mishra was believed to have proposed two more Deputy Prime Ministers in Mr George Fernandes and Mr Farooq Abdullah along with Mr Advani, purportedly to dilute Mr Advani’s status as the Deputy Prime Minister but the Prime Minister rejected the proposal.

Apart from Mr Mishra, another heavyweight in the Vajpayee dispensation who has lost importance this time is Human Resources Development Minister Murali Manohar Joshi. Mr Joshi was assiduously kept at an arms length.

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