Cabinet reshuffle likely to feature several new faces

Cabinet reshuffle likely to feature several new faces

New Delhi: Several new faces, including some from the BJP’s allies, are expected to join the government when Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertakes a reshuffle of his council of ministers on Sunday. It will be the third such exercise since the Modi government came to power in May 2014.
“A process has been set in motion for the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan at around 10am on Sunday,” a top government official told PTI.
Four junior ministers – Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sanjiv Kumar Balyan, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahendra Nath Pandey – have resigned ahead of the rejig.
Two cabinet ministers, Uma Bharati and Kalraj Mishra, have also offered to resign, said BJP sources.
Bharati, who is the water resources minister, said that only Shah or anyone on his behalf can speak on the issue.
Amit Shah had met Modi on Thursday and the two leaders are understood to have finalised the changes in the council of ministers.
BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, party vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, and Prahlad Patel, Suresh Angadi, Satyapal Singh and Prahlad Joshi are being spoken of as probable ministers.
With the Nitsh Kumar-led JD (U) also likely to join the government, its leaders RCP Singh and Santosh Kumar are the likely picks.
AIADMK leader Thambidurai had met Shah on Thursday. 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. The AIADMK has not confirmed it so far.
The current strength of the council of ministers, including the prime minister, is 73. The maximum number of ministers is 81.

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