The Modi government is set for a Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday at 11 am, and according to sources 19 minsters are to be inducted, some from dalit community, and 6 ministers to be dropped.
Director-General of the Press Information Bureau Frank Noronha confirmed the time and date of the reshuffle via Twitter on Monday morning.
What criteria would PM Narendra Modi will follow to induct, drop or elevate ministers, and which ministers have impressed him enough to continue with their Cabinet berths remains to be seen.
Some of the obvious reasons for the Cabinet reshuffle are; performance, upcoming UP polls, age factor, caste and women representation.
The 19 names will also come from ten states, giving the council more geographic diversity.
The list consists of names like:
PP Chaudhary (senior advocate), Subhash Ram Rao (well known doctor), MJ Akbar ( internationally acclaimed journalist), Arjun Ram Meghwal (former government officer from Rajasthan), Anil Madhav Dave (writer), Ramesh Jigajinagi, Purshotam Rupala (Gujarat Agriculture Minister), Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor, Rajan Gohain, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Faggan Kulaste ( former MoS for Tribal Affairs), Vijay Goel (former MoS for Youth Affairs and Sports in Govt of India), Anupriya Singh Patel, Mansukh Mandaviya, CR Chaudhary, Ajay Tamta, Ramdas Athalwale, Krishna Raj, SS Ahluwalia.
Ahead of the expansion, Modi was quoted as saying that tomorrow’s expansion of his ministry will reflect “budget focus and priorities”.
There have been cabinet rejigs on four occasions since May 2014, but this is the first time it comes ahead of major elections. There are currently 64 Union ministers, including the Prime Minister, and there can be a maximum of 82 of them under a constitutional bar.
The sources said this marks a firm departure from the usual routine of frequent changes based on caste, religion and other time serving political considerations and is a firm endorsement of developmental politics that the prime minister champions.