In India’s cabinet reshuffle, over 20 ministers may be inducted

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was declared as the most admired man in India and sixth most admired man in the world. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Jul 6, 2021, India Today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to expand his council of ministers soon. His meetings with Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh on Monday, sources said, were held to finalise the names to be inducted in the expanded Union cabinet, India Today reported.

Sources have told India Today that it would be a major reshuffle that may see induction of over 20 new ministers in the cabinet. The sources said that besides the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, big states such as Maharashtra and West Bengal, which recently went to the polls, may see greater representation in the Union cabinet.

“It is not going to be a minor arrangement, but a major reshuffle,” sources told India Today on Tuesday. The sources also claimed that some ministers might lose their ministerial berths.

Also See: The big Modi cabinet rejig: Who’ll be in and who will out?

It is believed that the BJP’s allies such as the JD-U, LJP (Paras faction) and Apna Dal may get representation in the Union cabinet.

LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan, a cabinet minister, died last year. There is speculation that his brother Pashupati Kumar Paras, who recently fell out with Chirag Paswa, the son of Ram Vilas Paswan, could be given a berth in the Union cabinet.

For the last few weeks, PM Modi has been meeting Union ministers in groups with BJP president J P Nadda also being present in the exercise to review their works and gather feedback. The BJP top brass has also held organisational meetings in different states.

On Monday, PM Modi held marathon meetings with Amit Shah and BJP general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh in what was seen as discussion to give the final touches to cabinet reshuffle exercise.

PM Modi was scheduled to meet Amit Shah, Nadda, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and others on Tuesday evening. However, the meeting, the sources said, was cancelled.

If the prime minister goes ahead with the exercise this week, he will be expanding his Council of Ministers for the first time since assuming the charge in May 2019 for the second term. The current strength of the Council of Ministers is 53, excluding PM Modi. Its maximum strength can be 81.

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