Union Cabinet rejig, new ministers to be sworn in on Sunday

Lydia Fleming
September 2, 2017

The Member of Parliament from Secunderabad tendered his resignation on Friday evening ahead of a major Cabinet reshuffle expected on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday undertake a reshuffle of his council of ministers, said sources.

Third, had the Doklam crisis not been resolved amicably as indeed it was on August 28, Modi would have definitely been under huge pressure to appoint a full-fledged defence minister, because in that event a part-time defence minister would have been politically incorrect. Reports said the two leaders were likely to deliberate upon the changes in the Ministry, and approve the final list of Ministers to be shuffled and removed, apart from the new faces to be inducted. However, it is unlikely that it will get resolved before 10 am on Sunday when the cabinet reshuffle has been slated for.

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Currently, two key ministries are without a full-time minister.

Textiles Minister Smriti Irani is holding additional charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

The country has no full-time defence minister since Manohar Parrikar chose to leave for his home state Goa after the BJP formed government in the state in March. One can not be sure if finance minister Arun Jaitley, who has been having the additional portfolio of defence ministry since the exit of Manohar Parrikar several months ago, will be shedding the defence portfolio. Which union minister is dropped and which leader is inducted in the union government depends also on the state elections - both upcoming and the ones already held.

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An excel sheet was prepared of the ministers classified as "positive" and "negative" based on their work, which was submitted to the Prime Minister and BJP national president Amit Shah.

While the reshuffle, slated to be held on Sunday, was the prerogative of the prime minister, it would make "zero difference", he said. Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and junior ministers Sanjeev Balyan and Giriraj Singh stepped down, NDTV 24X7 reported, citing people it didn't name. This was followed late on Thursday evening by a slew of Union ministers who offered their resignations. As this Firstpost article argues, the question is whether Mishra would be granted an honourable exit by making him the governor of a state or not. Media reports also suggested that Modi personally took feedback on his ministers from the concerned bureaucrats.

AIADMK's Thambi Durai and K Venugopal are being seen as among likely representatives of their party in the Cabinet if the Tamil Nadu party joins NDA.

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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.

Other reports by Info About Network

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