In what may come as a big development, PM Narendra Modi’s upcoming reshuffle of his cabinet is likely to take the load off four ministers who are holding additional charges news agency Press Trust of India reports. The Prime Minister may induct new faces lessening the burden on these ministers who were assigned additional ministries after vacancies arose in the cabinet between March and July this year due to various reasons. Finance Arun Jaitley was given the additional charge of Defence after Manohar Parrikar quit the post to concentrate on the Goa Assembly polls. Parrikar later became the chief minister of the state. Similarly, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan is holding the additional charge of the Environment Ministry. This was necessitated after the unfortunate demise of Anil Dave, the then Environment and Forest minister in the month of May. In July, M Venkaiah Naidu resigned from the union cabinet after being nominated as the NDA candidate for the post of vice president of India. Naidu’s Housing and Urban Affairs portfolio was given to Narendra Singh Tomar as the additional charge. Tomar is the full-time minister in charge for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water and Sanitation. Naidu’s another important portfolio – Information and Broadcasting portfolio – was given to Smriti Irani, the minister for Textiles. Besides these ministers, Ravi Shankar Prasad also holds dual portfolios — Law and Justice and Information-Technology.
Earlier, PTI citing sources reported that the Narendra Modi Cabinet reshuffle will take place on Sunday morning at 10 am. Till now, a total of five ministers have already resigned from their posts. These ministers include Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sanjeev Baliyan, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Bandaru Dattatreya and Mahendra Nath Pandey, as per PTI. Two cabinet ministers, Uma Bharti and Kalraj Mishra, have also offered to resign, PTI citing BJP sources reported. The exercise will be prime minister’s third and probably last major recasting of his council of ministers before the next Lok Sabha polls in 2019. “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 Press Trust of India.