With Cabinet reshuffle and expansion set to take place at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, what would be going on in PM Narendra Modi’s mind? What criteria would he decide to induct, drop or elevate ministers? And, which ministers have impressed him enough to continue with their Cabinet berths?
If sources are to be believed, some of the obvious reasons for the Cabinet reshuffle are; performance, upcoming UP polls, age factor, caste and women representation.
PM Narendra Modi has always been seen as someone who keeps a close watch on what his ministers are doing, and reviews the performance of each department closely. Just last week, he held a meeting of his ministers, where each one of them is believed to have apprised him of their performance. So, it is quite natural for us to assume that one of the driving factors or the reshuffle would be PM’s own rating of his ministers’ work.
With that in mind, it is widely expected that portfolios of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Roads, Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad are likely to remain untouched.
Additionally, Power Minister Piyush Goyal and State Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbabs Naqvi are being seen as strong candidates for elevation. Naqvi’s promotion will also come since Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla is likely to be dropped from the Cabinet, given her age.
Some news reports suggest that Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda may be shunted out. Gowda was earlier the Railways Minister before the charge was given to Suresh Prabhu in November 2014.
Uttar Pradesh, which goes to the polls early next year, is likely to get more representation. Yogi Adityanath, Mahesh Sharma, Sanjeev Balyan and Raghav Lakhanpal may bag a berth in the Cabinet, say some reports. UP is a crucial state for the Modi government, and one big reason for the simple majority BJP bagged in the 2014 general elections.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, Anupriya Patel, Arjun Meghwal and Ajay Tamta are some other names that are doing the rounds for induction.