Cabinet Reshuffle: Meeting underway at PM’s residence, ‘young faces’ likely to get lion’s share

Cabinet Reshuffle, Narendra Modi, BJP

Being almost confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would reshuffle, or maybe even expand his cabinet later in the evening, his official residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg is abuzz with activities where an important meeting is underway after the arrival of BJP National President JP Nadda.

“Portfolio distribution is also likely to be discussed in the meeting”, informed a party source for what would be the first reshuffle/expansion in the second term of the Narendra Modi government.

The prominent names that are already present at the PM’s residence include Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh Jyotiraditya Scindia, former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Narayan Rane, and Uttar Pradesh’s Apna Dal chief Anupriya Patel.

BJP sources say that before the cabinet expansion to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan Prime Minister Narendra Modi would like to meet with the new ministers at his residence and apprise them of his expectations.

This time, the number of women ministers in the Modi government is likely to increase. Apart from Anupriya Patel, Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi, Haryana MP Sunita Duggal, and Karnataka MP Shobha Karandlaje are likely to be inducted into the cabinet.

Some of the probable are—Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sarbananda Sonowal, Narayan Rane, Pashupati Paras, Anupriya Patel, Pankaj Chowdhury, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Ramshankar Katheria, Varun Gandhi, RCP Singh, Lallan Singh, Rahul Kaswan, CP Joshi, Sakaldeep Rajbhar, and Ranjan Singh Rajkumar.

Earlier, sources had indicated that ahead of the reshuffle, the Prime Minister is likely to hold a meeting with senior ministers and Nadda.

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.

Party sources claimed that the reshuffle is due and it will happen before the monsoon session of parliament starting from July 19.

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,” added the source.

(With IANS inputs)

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