Published: Sat, September 02, 2017
Medical | By Ismael Lynch

Cabinet reshuffle to take place on Sunday morning

Cabinet reshuffle to take place on Sunday morning

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to overhaul his cabinet to boost efforts to spur flagging growth and soothe increasing signs of social tension before state elections this year and the national vote in 2019.

News reports said five ministers had been asked to resign on Thursday before the reshuffle.

Following a series of developments, with Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy along with four others have resigned from their posts, the reshuffle is most likely to take place at around 10 AM on Sunday.

ANI quoted Rudy on Friday as saying that his resignation was the Centre's "decision. perogative ".

Speaking to ANI, the Uttar Pradesh BJP chief said that he has already conveyed about his resignation to BJP President Amit Shah and will soon be talking to Prime Minister Modi in the regard.

It is being speculated that Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who had taken moral responsibility for a string of train accidents and indicated his willingness to resign, may be moved to another ministry.

News reports said his ministry is expected to go to NItin Gadkari.

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Apart from the names mentioned above, speculation is rife that agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh could also be asked to quit. Instead, as a senior BJP leader pointed out, it will be extensive, "with an emphasis on performance and also keeping in mind the party's strategy for almost a dozen elections to state assemblies that are due over the next year in the run up to the all important Lok Sabha polls in 2019".

AIADMK leader Thambidurai had met Shah on Thursday, and he, besides party leaders P Venugopal and V Maitreyan, may be the likely representatives from the Tamil Nadu party if it decides to join the government.

While Jaitley shedding the defence portfolio is a distinct possibility, Dr Harshavardhan, who is holding more than one portfolio, may also be relieved of one.

The reshuffle is the third by Modi since coming to power in May 2014.

Nitish Kumar-led JD (U) is likely to join the BJP-led NDA government.

The former Union minister said there was a Cabinet form of government in the country, but wondered if it was "functioning like one". Science and Technology minister Harsh Vardhan was given the additional charge of the Environment Ministry. JDU's RCP Singh, who is its parliamentary party leader in the Rajya Sabha, and Santosh Kumar may be inducted as ministers. Sources said besides his age, Mishra who is a Lok Sabha MP from Deoria, also seems to have failed PM's performance criteria.

But the seats are limited as the current strength of the council of ministers, including the prime minister, is 73 and the maximum number can not go beyond 81.

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