BJP MPs summoned to Delhi as Modi cabinet reshuffle ‘very much’ on the cards

Modi cabinet reshuffle, Narendra Modi

For a few days now, there has been a strong buzz in the political circle that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very likely to reshuffle, or maybe even expand his cabinet somewhere late in this week.

If this happens then it would be the first reshuffle/expansion in the second term of the Narendra Modi government.

Even though there is no confirmation from the party or the government about the time of possible cabinet reshuffle, sources say the cabinet reshuffle is likely to take place in a couple of days and BJP MPs are asked to reach the national capital at the earliest.

JP Nadda, the BJP national president, who is on a two-day visit to Himachal Pradesh, will be returning to New Delhi on Tuesday evening, informed a party insider. “Nadda ji has reached Himachal Pradesh to attend his personal and organisational program. He is reaching Delhi later today for some important work,” he said.

Sources said that ahead of the reshuffle, the Prime Minister is likely to hold a meeting with senior ministers and Nadda in the evening but there is no confirmation about the meeting.

Party functionaries claimed that calls were made to several party leaders who are expected to be inducted in the cabinet, to reach Delhi. “Following the direction of party leadership, former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Rajya Sabha member Jyotiraditya Scindia are reaching Delhi today,” he said.

Sources said that Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is likely to be inducted in the Modi cabinet, has cut short his visit to Indore in Madhya Pradesh and is reaching the national capital in the evening.

“Earlier, Scindia was expected to take on a flight from Indore to Delhi on July 7 at 11 a.m. But after he was asked to reach Delhi at the earliest, Scindia is leaving for Delhi from Indore at 3.30 p.m. on Tuesday. Before leaving for Delhi, Scindia took blessings at Mahakal Temple in Ujjain,” said a BJP leader aware of Scindia’s program.

Amid the buzz, a video of former union minister late Ram Vilas Paswan’s brother Pashupati Paras went viral in which he is seen buying clothes for his new ‘kurta’ he is likely to wear in the swearing-in ceremony.

“Inducting Paras in the cabinet will also clarify BJP’s stand that which faction of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has the support of the Prime Minister and the saffron party,” a party leader said.

Some BJP MPs eyeing the ministerial berth this time, however, said that they have not received any call from either the Prime Minister office or party. “Appointing a minister is the prerogative of the Prime Minister. I haven’t received any call but heard MPs are asked to reach Delhi as soon as possible,” a BJP MP said.

Another BJP functionary said that alliance partner Janta Dal-United (JD-U) leaders — RCP Singh and Rajeev Ranjan ‘Lallan’ are also reaching the national capital. “JD-U who did not join the Modi government in 2019 is likely to get two ministerial berths while the party is asking for three,” he said.

Apna Dal chief Anupriya Patel is also likely to be made a minister. She was part of the Modi government in the first term.

Party sources claimed that the reshuffle is due and it will happen before the monsoon session of parliament starting from July 19 but it may happen in the next few days. “Cabinet expansion is due to fill up the vaccines and it is believed that it will happen soon this week,” he said.

Since last month there have been speculations about a possible union cabinet reshuffle and the Prime Minister held several rounds of discussion with senior party leaders including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, party chief Nadda and general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh. He (Modi) personally reviewed the performance of existing ministers.

Sources claimed that few ministers will be dropped and they will be accommodated in some other position.

“Union Minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot has been appointed governor of Karnataka. More ministers and especially those above 70 years are likely to be dropped and might be appointed governor, Gehlot is aged around 73 years. We heard that the Prime Minister is likely to induct young faces to give a new look to his cabinet,” they said.

(With IANS inputs)

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