A performance review of ministers was reportedly submitted to PM Modi ahead of cabinet reshuffle (File)
New Delhi: Nine new ministers, all from the BJP, will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government today and all of them have been named. The list includes no one from the BJP's new ally the Janata Dal (United). New Defence and Railways ministers are expected to be appointed, whose names have not been released. A promotion to cabinet rank is likely for three ministers, sources said. The Prime Minister will meet his new ministers for breakfast ahead of their oath at the Rashtrapati Bhavan at 10:30 this morning.
Here are 10 updates on cabinet reshuffle:
- A former police chief and three former bureaucrats will be new ministers. They are ex-Mumbai Police chief and now BJP lawmaker Satya Pal Singh, retired diplomat Hardeep Puri, retired IAS officer KJ Alphons and former Home Secretary RK Singh, also a lawmaker.
- The others who will be sworn in include BJP lawmaker from Bihar Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Shiv Pratap Shukla from Uttar Pradesh. Virendra Kumar from Madhya Pradesh, Anant Kumar Hegde from Karnataka and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Rajasthan are from states where elections will be held soon.
- Six ministers resigned to make way for the new faces; sources said they were largely pink-slipped over performance. Government sources said PM Modi based his selection of new members for his team on "4Ps - passion, proficiency, professional and political acumen", to deliver on his vision of "a new India".
- At least two members from the BJP's latest ally, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JDU were expected to be included in the council of ministers today. But Mr Kumar said on Saturday evening that he had no knowledge of a reshuffle, except from media reports. Two others allies the Shiv Sena and the Telugu Desam Party said the same.
- Allies have been left out of the cabinet rejig as the BJP leadership was unable to construct a please-all formula, reported news agency Press Trust of India, quoting sources. The Shiv Sena is said to have argued that if Nitish Kumar's party with two Lok Sabha MPs could get two ministries, then the Sena with 18 should have many more. The Shiv Sena currently has two.
- A new Defence Minister is expected to be appointed today, with Arun Jaitley retaining the Finance portfolio. Mr Jaitley has held both key posts since March when Manohar Parrikar, who was Defence Minister, moved back to Goa as Chief Minister.
- Suresh Prabhu is expected to give up the Railways Ministry and get another assignment. Asked if he would get additional charge of Railways, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari only said, "It is the prime minister's prerogative to allocate portfolios. New ministers will be inducted and PM Modi will take a decision on this".
- Four Ministers of State with Independent Charge are expected to be promoted to members of the Union Cabinet. They are Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Petroluem Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
- Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad could get a new ministry, sources said. Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh could be shifted to another department. Sources said that Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, who refused to comment on reports of her resignation, is unlikely to be dropped from cabinet and may be assigned to another ministry.
- The six ministers who have resigned since Thursday are Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sanjeev Balyan, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Kalraj Mishra, Mahendra Nath Pandey and Bandaru Dattatreya. Some are expected to be re-assigned to key roles within the BJP ahead of the 2019 national election. Mr Pandey has already become the party's UP chief.
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