The Editors' Conference on Social Sector Issues has been deferred

Whether or not the much-anticipated Cabinet reshuffle is carried out post-Makar Sankranti, many Ministers, bitten by the bug of uncertainty, have cancelled travel plans to maintain physical proximity to the Congress high command in the Capital.

The Editors' Conference on Social Sector Issues, scheduled to be held in Puducherry from January 18 to 20, has been deferred as several Ministers suddenly made themselves unavailable.

The conference was to be inaugurated by Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni and Rural Development Minister C. P. Joshi.Ministers for Food Processing, Minority Affairs, Women and Child Development, Human Resource Development, and Water Resources had sent in their confirmation.

The confirmation from the Ministers for Health, Environment, and Textiles, were awaited when the decision to defer the conference was taken.

More than 55 journalists from across the country and 45 others from Chennai and Puducherry were to attend the meeting. The formalities for 50 officials from Union ministries to attend had also been completed.

With many of these Ministers not sure of where they might stand in the event of the much awaited reshuffle, officials considered it prudent to defer the conference. Other Congress Ministers too have asked their staff to keep official diaries clear of any out-of-station engagements till the uncertainty is over.

Many foreign jaunts too have been put on hold for this reason. External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna, who was to visit Congress MP Manish Tiwari's Ludhiana constituency on Friday, backed out at the last minute. But Union Minister of State for Environment Jairam Ramesh and Minister of State for IT and Communications Sachin Pilot are sticking to their tour plans.

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