Union Agriculture, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Sharad Pawar has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to “reduce his [ministerial] burden.”
“I have met the Prime Minister today and asked him to reduce my burden. I want to devote time to my party work,'' Mr. Pawar told journalists here on Monday.
Mr. Pawar did not specify whether he wanted helping hands as Ministers of State or if he wanted to give up any portfolio or whether he would like a portfolio to be given to a member of his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). “That is for the Prime Minister to decide. It is his prerogative,” he said. At present K.V. Thomas is the only Minister of State to assist him with the three portfolios.
Asked if took the decision after becoming the president of the International Cricket Council last week, he said: “Anything… I have not been suddenly elected the president of ICC. I have been president-elect for two years. In fact I have been after the Prime Minister for the last six months to relieve me.''
The Prime Minister said that he would discuss the matter with him at an “appropriate time.”
Asked whether this meant a Cabinet reshuffle was on the cards, he said: “Don't know about that. I went to see Dr. Manmohan Singh about my personal matter.” Mr. Pawar said this year he would complete 44 years in parliamentary (and Assembly) career and 25-26 years in government. “There is nothing left.”