PM Modi to reshuffle Cabinet on Sunday; Ram Madhav likely to debut

PM Modi to reshuffle Cabinet on Sunday; Ram Madhav likely to debut

It is only after the day's session is over that he is likely to make the calls, felt many who would take time to reach Delhi during the cabinet induction.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday undertake a reshuffle of his council of ministers, said sources.

It will be the third such exercise since he took over as the Prime Minister in May 2014.

"A process has been set in motion for the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan at around 10 am on Sunday", a top government official was quoted as saying by PTI.

The Cabinet reshuffle was long overdue and has been necessitated because of several factors. Two key ministries opened up after M Venkaiah Naidu was named Vice President.

The country has no full-time defence minister since Manohar Parrikar made a decision to leave for his home state Goa after the BJP formed government in the state in March.

Speculation is also rife about who will take charge of the crucial Ministry of Defence that's now being looked after by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

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Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had also hinted to have offered to resign after Kalinga-Utkal Express crash but was asked to "wait" by the Prime Minister.

Similarly, based on performance, five ministers of state with independent charge are likely to be elevated to cabinet rank.

But these are just reports and going by the history, we all know that PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah can surprise everyone with their choice.

The former Union minister said there was a Cabinet form of government in the country, but wondered if it was "functioning like one". Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and junior ministers Sanjeev Balyan and Giriraj Singh stepped down, NDTV 24X7 reported, citing people it didn't name.

With the Nitish Kumar-led JD (U) also likely to join the government, its leaders RCP Singh, who is also JD (U)'s parliamentary party leader in the Rajya Sabha, and Santosh Kumar are the likely picks from the new NDA ally. No one can say with any degree of certainty who will get which berth or would be dropped. As this Firstpost article argues, the question is whether Mishra would be granted an honourable exit by making him the governor of a state or not.

There is also a buzz that Modi might even carve a mammoth transport and mobility portfolio- which could include road and surface transport, shipping as well as railways-and install Gadkari as its minister.

The newcomers in the Cabinet will mostly be from the allies, Janata Dal (United) and AIADMK.The AIADMK's Thambi Durai and K Venugopal are being seen as among the likely representatives of their party if it joins the Modi government. He is now minister for medium and small enterprises.

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