Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which completed three years in the office is bracing up for another cabinet reshuffle. Three union ministers have already resigned from the union cabinet, among them senior BJP leaders Uma Bharti and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, signalling a mega reshuffle of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s council of ministers, which will be held at 10 am on Sunday, a top government official said. It will be the third such exercise since he took over in May 2014.
“A process has been set in motion for the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan around 10 am on Sunday,” the official said. More ministers are expected to quit to make way for new faces as the ruling BJP prepares for a series of state elections and then the 2019 national election when PM Modi will be gearing up for a second term, reported NDTV.
The recent cabinet reshuffle has seen minister of state Sanjeev Balyan resign. Sanjiv Kumar Balyan and Faggan Singh Kulaste have quit. Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who resigned as Skills minister would likely to be given organisational post to boost party. Minister of state Mahendra Nath Pandey quit yesterday to become the BJP’s Uttar Pradesh chief, creating one more vacancy in the union council of ministers.
Some more ministers could be on their way out from the cabinet over their performance. Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh has faced tremendous flak over the death of protesting farmers in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur, where the BJP lost a by-election to the Congress recently. He hasn’t given any signals regarding his resignation. The biggest beneficiary from this re shuffle will be Nitish Kumar’s JD (U) and AIADMK, which so far has not joined the BJP-led national alliance NDA, contrary to the reports.
BJP president Amit Shah met several ministers yesterday, among them those who have resigned. Later in the evening, he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss about the changes in cabinet. The new union cabinet is likely to induct Bhupender Yadav, who is in-charge of Gujarat, with elections likely to be held at the end of the year. Also tipped to be new ministers are Prahlad Singh Patel and Prahlad Joshi from Karnataka where elections will be held next year.
The ministers who are holding dual portfolios such as Arun Jaitley, Smriti Irani, Harsh Vadhan are likely to be relieved from one ministry. Railways minister Suresh Prabhu, who had offered to resign in the wake of recent train accidents could be on his way out too. The reshuffle is expected before PM Modi leaves on Sunday for a BRICS summit in China. President Ram Nath Kovind is away in Tirupati today and will be back only on Saturday.
(With Agency Inputs)
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