Cabinet reshuffle: AIADMK may not join for now , Gadkari may get Defense Ministry

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi  at the Opening Session of the Second Raisina Dialogue, in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist(PTI1_17_2017_000229A)
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Opening Session of the Second Raisina Dialogue, in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist(PTI1_17_2017_000229A)

NEW DELHI : The much anticipated Modi Cabinet reshuffle is likely to witness a host of changes. While the JD(U) which formed the government in Bihar with the BJP is set to join the Cabinet, there is however no word as yet on the AIADMK. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi .

Speculation was rife that the AIADMK from Tamil Nadu will join the NDA and also the Cabinet. However sources say that there is no word as yet on this. There are still a couple of issues that need to be sorted out in the AIADMK. It may be done at a later stage, the source added. The AIADMK if inducted into the ministry will send K Venugopal and Thambi Durai to the Cabinet, sources indicated.

Three union ministers have resigned, among them senior BJP leaders Uma Bharti and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, signalling a mega reshuffle of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s council of ministers, most likely on Saturday evening. The reshuffle has been expected before PM Modi leaves on Sunday for a BRICS summit in China. President Ram Nath Kovind is away in Tirupati today and will be back only tomorrow afternoon.
More ministers are expected to quit to make way for new faces as the ruling BJP preps for a series of state elections and then the 2019 national election when PM Modi will seek a second term. The new team will include at least two members from the BJP’s latest ally, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United.
Among those who resigned late on Thursday night was minister of state Sanjeev Balyan. Sources said Faggan Singh Kulaste and Kalraj Mishra are likely to quit too. Some of those who have resigned, like Skills Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, are expected to be given key organisational roles in the BJP, sources said, in preparation for 2019. Minister of state Mahendra Nath Pandey quit yesterday to become the BJP’s Uttar Pradesh chief, creating one more vacancy.

Some ministers could lose their jobs over performance. Radha Mohan Singh has faced tremendous flak over the death of protesting farmers in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur, where the BJP lost a by-election to the Congress recently. He has denied knowledge of any imminent exit. BJP chief Amit Shah met several ministers yesterday, among them those who have resigned. Later in the evening, he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Among those expected to be picked as new ministers from the BJP are Bhupendra Yadav, who is in-charge of Gujarat, with an eye on elections in the state later this year. Also tipped to be new ministers are Prahlad Singh Patel and Prahlad Joshi from Karnataka where elections will be held next year.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who holds additional charge of Defence, is expected to shed one of the two key ministries. So could other ministers who hold two portfolios, like Narendra Singh Tomar, Harsh Vardhan and Smriti Irani, who is minister for both textiles and Information and Broadcasting, sources said.A change is expected in the Railways Ministry after a series of rail accidents.  Minister Suresh Prabhu met PM Modi and indicated that he had offered to quit but was “asked to wait”.

According to BJP Sources A simple ‘P and N’ formula – where ‘P’ stands for ‘Positive and ‘N’ is ‘Negative’ – will decide who stays in Narendra Modi’s council of ministers and who goes out. The crucial part of this excel sheet is the column marked –  ‘P and N’. In front of every minister’s name, a ‘P’ or ‘N’ denomination has been placed. The excel sheet already has been presented to BJP president Amit Shah and PM Modi. The duo will take the final call on who remains in the cabinet and who exits.

According to emerging reports, transport minister Nitin Gadkari could get Defense portfolio after Arun Jaitley resigns. Human Resource Development minister Prakash Javadekar is also likely to get a bigger portfolio or additional charges.

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