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  India   Politics  02 Sep 2017  Amit Shah report card to guide Sunday’s Cabinet rejig

Amit Shah report card to guide Sunday’s Cabinet rejig

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Sep 2, 2017, 1:50 am IST
Updated : Sep 2, 2017, 4:15 am IST

JD-U likely to get berth, AIADMK won’t join govt.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and BJP President Amit Shah. (Photo: PTI/File)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and BJP President Amit Shah. (Photo: PTI/File)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will keep in mind elections and performance of ministers for changes in his Cabinet that is expected to be reshuffled and expanded on Sunday morning.

Sources revealed that the changes in the Union Cabinet were being made following a “performance” report on ministers submitted to the Prime Minister by BJP president Amit Shah. It will be the third such exercise since Mr Modi took over as Prime Minister in May 2014.

Mr Shah met the Prime Minister on Thursday and the two leaders are believed to have finalised the changes in the Council of Ministers.

The Prime Minister could possibly bring in new faces to take charge of the additional portfolios being held by finance minister Arun Jaitley, textiles minister Smriti Irani, rural development minister Narendra Singh Tomar and science and technology minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.

Mr Jaitley is likely to hold on to the finance portfolio, handing over the defence portfolio to a new minister, but it remains to be seen whether the Prime Minister retains Ms Irani in the high-profile I&B ministry and brings in a new face for the textiles ministry. Minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha may also get a Cabinet rank.

Amit

Some of the fresh saffron faces that could enter Mr Modi’s Cabinet include Ram Madhav, Murlidhar Rao, Vinay Saharshabuddhe. Names of party MPs, including Prahlad Patel, Suresh Angadi, Satyapal Singh and Prahlad Joshi, are also doing the round for getting a berth in the Modi government.

Speculation is rife that from the JD(U) quota, R.C.P. Singh and Santosh Kumar could join the Council of Ministers. The AIADMK is unlikley to join the Cabinet at this juncture.

Ahead of the rejig, five ministers — Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Mahendra Nath Pandey and Bandaru Dattatreya — have already resigned while two Cabinet ministers, Uma Bharti and Kalraj Mishra, have offered to resign.

When asked about her resignation, Ms Bharti, who was in Jhansi, made it clear that only party president Mr Shah or someone on his behalf  “could answer that question.”  

She later tweeted, “I was asked to give my reaction to the news of my resignation, that the media has been playing up since last evening... I replied that I have not heard this question, neither will I, nor will I give an answer for it.”

While Ms Bharti’s camp had been saying that the minister had sometime back offered to resign on health grounds, sources in the BJP said that the saffron sanyasin “is not keen to give up her ministerial berth”.

It was further learnt that the party high command was “not too happy with her performance” as the minister of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation.

It was alleged that her performance on Ganga rejuvenation, a pet project of the Prime Minister, was “not as expected”.

On the other hand, former minister of state for skill development Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who resigned late on Thursday night, told the media that resigning was not his decision. “It’s the decision of the party and I will follow,” Mr Rudy said.

Sources disclosed 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.

“A process has been set in motion for the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan at around 10 am on Sunday,” a top government official said.

Tags: narendra modi, cabinet reshuffle, amit shah
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi