First expansion of PM Modi Cabinet on Sunday

First expansion of PM Modi Cabinet on Sunday - Sakshi Post

New Delhi: Five months into office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will expand and reshuffle his Council of Ministers on Sunday, bringing in new faces and is likely to drop a few. Calls were being made to prospective entrants from the Prime Minister's Office, informing them about their induction and a pre-swearing-in tea with the Prime Minister on Sunday morning.

Among those who are believed to have received such calls are controversial BJP MP from Bihar Giriraj Singh, former RJD leader Ram Kripal Yadav, who won from Patna on BJP ticket, MP from Maharashtra Hansraj Ahir, and MP from Hoshiarpur in Punjab Vijay Sampla. Some newcomers could also be from allies Shiv Sena and TDP. Some Ministers of State are also expected to be promoted to Cabinet rank as a reward for their performance.

The swearing-in of the new ministers will take place at 1 PM on Sunday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, official sources said here today. Power Minister Piyush Goyal also told an economic gathering that the reshuffle will take place on Sunday.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is a certain induction into the Council of Ministers with Defence Ministry likely to be given to him.

Arun Jaitley, who holds the portfolios of Finance and Defence, also gave a clear indication at a function here that from Sunday he may cease to hold the Defence portfolio.

The other names doing the rounds include former minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and new faces Jayant Sinha, son of former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, Jat leader from Haryana Birender Singh and Col Sonaram Chaudhary and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, both of Rajasthan.

From the allies, the likely names are Y S Chowdhary or Ram Mohan Naidu, son of late union minister K Yerran Naidu, of TDP. The name of Rajya Sabha member Anil Desai of Shiv Sena is also doing the rounds but his inclusion may depend on sorting out of issues between BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.

Former union minister Suresh Prabhu, who is the Prime Minister's sherpa for G-20 Summit, is widely being speculated to be made the head of a new body that will replace the Planning Commission. In that capacity, he may get Cabinet rank status.

The strength of the ministry now stands at 45 -- 23 of the level of Cabinet, including the prime minister, 22 of the Minister of State rank and 10 MoS with Independent charge of their ministries.

More than six ministers are currently holding more than one portfolio. Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari also holds the charge of Rural Development Ministry, while Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also has the charge of IT and Communications Ministry. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has I&B ministry as an additional charge. He also is MoS for Parliamentary Affairs. Piyush Goyal has Power, Coal and Mines.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu also has Urban Development while Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS in Finance Ministry, also has independent charge of Commerce.

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