PM Modi 'Very Happy' With Nitin Gadkari, To Stay As Road Minister: Sources

Nitin Gadkari will continue as the Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister and will not be asked to take on the Railways Minister's job during the Modi Cabinet reshuffle. PM Modi

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PM Modi 'Very Happy' With Nitin Gadkari, To Stay As Road Minister: Sources

Modi cabinet reshuffle: PM Modi is unlikely to change Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari's portfolio.

NEW DELHI:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "very happy" with the performance of Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and has decided against tinkering with the 60-year-old Maharashtra politician's portfolio in tomorrow's Cabinet reshuffle, sources told NDTV. PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah had earlier toyed with the idea of moving Mr Gadkari to the rail ministry that faces the dual challenge of fast-tracking expansion of the rail network and improving its somewhat patchy safety record. It is a plan, sources said, that is said to have been dumped.

A performance review of ministers that was carried out ahead of Sunday's mega reshuffle helped. Mr Gadkari was in the list of ministers who had aced their reviews.

This time, the ministers' performance was classified as "positive" or "negative", there was no other grading. Mr Gadkari has topped the performance charts in the reviews carried out by PM Modi in the past too. Mr Gadkari too wasn't keen to take the additional responsibility.

The ministers were not only judged on the performance of their departments but also how proactively and efficiently they set upon tasks assigned by the party to take schemes and achievements to the masses.

At least half-a-dozen ministers did not make the grade. Union Minister Kalraj Mishra, who is on his way out, however, insisted he wasn't outed for his performance but age. "I am 77 now and offered to step down," he told NDTV today.

Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu had first hinted about a change in the rail ministry last month when he owned moral responsibility for a series of train accidents and offered to quit.

The minister later said PM Modi had asked him to wait. It was the first confirmation that the much-delayed cabinet reshuffle was round the corner. But rather than see Mr Prabhu exit his team, sources said, PM Modi was keen to give the rail minister an important assignment, possibly the defence ministry.

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