Secundrabad MP Bandaru Dattatreya on Friday resigned from his post of Labour Minister, India Today reported. Earlier, Press Trust of India confirmed citing sources that the Narendra Modi Cabinet reshuffle will take place on Sunday morning at 10 am. Dattatreya’s resignation brings up the number of ministers who resigned to six – with Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sanjeev Baliyan, Faggan Singh Kulaste, and Mahendra Nath Pandey having already submitted their papers, as per PTI. Two cabinet ministers, Uma Bharti and Kalraj Mishra, have also offered to resign, said BJP sources amid speculations that there may be a few more exits, PTI reports.
Modi will undertake the third and probably last major recasting of his council of ministers before the next Lok Sabha polls in 2019 and the exercise is being seen as a balancing act between his thrust on merit and demands of realpolitik. “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. Uma Bharti, who is the water resources minister, said only Shah or anyone on his behalf can speak on the issue. “The media sought my reaction on reports in circulation since yesterday. I have said that I have not heard the question, will not hear nor will I answer it,” she tweeted.
PTI reports that BJP chief Amit Shah had met Modi on Thursday and the two leaders are understood to have finalised the changes in the council of ministers. Arun Jaitley, who currently holds the charge of two heavyweight portfolios — finance and defence, may retain only one, sources said. While Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who had taken moral responsibility for a string of train accidents and indicated his willingness to resign, may be moved to another ministry, the sources said.
The report further says that more ministrers can be shuffled around to other ministries. BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, party’s vice president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Prahlad Patel, Suresh Angadi, Satyapal Singh, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Prahlad Joshi are being talked about within the party as probable ministers.