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Cabinet rejig gains momentum in Narendra Modi government

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New Delhi: Number of Union ministers resigned yesterday evening, all but cementing rumours of an impending reshuffle of PM Modi’s council of ministers that sources said could happen as early as today, or by Saturday. Narendra Modi is all set to leave for a BRICS summit in China on Sunday.

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It is worthwhile pointing out that Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti, and Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce, Industry and Corporate Affairs. and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister with independent charge of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship stepped down from their positions.

On the other hand, there is a strong possibility of Dharmendra Debendra Pradhan, minister of state for petroleum & natural gas, and Piyush Goel, MoS for power, coal, and new & renewable energy are likely to be elevated to cabinet rank.

Furthermore, few more ministers are also said to have offered to resign, including Minister of Micro and Small Enterprises Kalraj Mishra, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Mahendra Nath Pandey, and Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjiv Baliyan. Mishra has crossed the age of 75 and is tipped to get a gubernatorial posting.

Amit Shah, who has already had plenty of meetings over the past two weeks with number of cabinet ministers, held an unscheduled meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi just before Rudy’s resignation.

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley already gave an hint in this regard, “At least I hope not very long.” He is expected to shed at least one of his portfolios; any new defence minister will have to leave for Japan early next month to attend the annual global defence ministers’ conference

Delhi’s political circles were quite buzz with speculation that some chief ministers of BJP-ruled states may also move to Delhi to augment the Union Cabinet. The presence of Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje in the national capital was one such example.

There are also indications that the Centre may accommodate leaders like Bhupendra Yadav, BJP’s in-charge of Gujarat, with an eye on elections in the state later this year. Party heavyweight Ram Madhav, who has been instrumental in the BJP’s gains in the Northeast, is also being tipped for a Cabinet berth.

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