Impending Modi Cabinet reshuffle: Here are all speculations but PM-Amit Shah may surprise everyone

By: | Published: August 31, 2017 5:30 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to go for a last Cabinet rejig this week before the 2019 General Elections.

Modi Cabinet reshuffle, narendra modi cabinet reshuffle, modi cabinet, narendra modi cabinet, narendra modi, nitin gadkari, piyus goyal, amit shah, arun jaitleyPrime Minister Narendra Modi will be in China to attend BRICS Summit from September 3-5. (PTI File)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to go for a last Cabinet rejig this week before the 2019 General Elections. Media reports in the last few days have speculated several names who could be inducted in the Modi Cabinet. Most of the reports unanimously say the new-look Modi Cabinet is likely to include faces from new ally JD(U) in Bihar, while some reports also claim that leaders of ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and NCP may also find place in the Cabinet.

The Cabinet reshuffle was long overdue. While Union environment minister Anil Madhav Dave suddenly died a few months back, then Union Defence Minister Manihar Parrikar moved to Goa to lead the state after the Assembly elections in March this year. Last month Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu also resigned to become the vice-president.

On Thursday, a number of Union ministers met at BJP president Amit Shah’s residence in New Delhi amid speculations of the Cabinet reshuffle by the end of this week. The ministers included Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has also been looking after the Defence Ministry since Parrikar moved to Goa. At an event organised by The Economist today, Jaitley even hinted that he would not be holding both defence and finance portfolios for long.

Cabinet reshuffle is likely to take place tomorrow or on Saturday, that is before PM Modi leaves for the BRICS Summit 2017 in China between September 3-5., reports say.

Here are some of the names being speculated:

  • According to India Today, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari may get a larger role, while ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu is likely to join the NDA. A JD(U) face may also get a place in the Cabinet and Modi may drop any existing minister from Bihar in the Cabinet to accommodate a JD(U) leader. Some senior ministers may even be appointed as governors.
  • Speculations are rife that Suresh Prabhu may be removed from the Railway ministry after he recently offered to resign, following string of train accidents.
  • Some reports have claimed that NCP leader Sharad Pawar may join the Modi Cabinet. However, NCP leader Praful Patel on August 28 denied the speculations in a Tweet. “There is no basis for speculation that the NCP is joining the government in Delhi,” Patel tweeted.
  • Times Now had reported earlier that five Minister of States may get promotion.
  • Republic TV reported last week that Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis may get a Cabinet berth, while the NCP is also likely to join the Central government.
  • Sources told Republic that Fadnavis has agreed to the proposal to move to Delhi, while BJP’s Chandrakan Bacchu Patil may lead the state government in Maharashtra. It said Prabhu may be moved to a different ministry while former railway minister and TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi may replace Prabhu.
  • News 18 also reported last week that Fadnavis is being seen as a possible Cabinet minister, while Patil may govern the state. It didn’t say whether Sharad Pawar is expected to join Modi Cabinet, but speculated that his daughter Supriya Sule may get a berth.
  • According to News 18, Modi’s most performing ministers like Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan may get elevated. For the railway ministry, it said two theories are doing the rounds in Delhi. First, the creation of a mega transport and mobility ministry led by Gadkari, which will also include the railways. Second, Trivedi may replace Prabhu.
  • Trivedi’s appointment would be a setback for West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. Trivedi was dropped from railway ministry in 2012 by Banerjee after he had hiked railway fare.
  • Union minister Kalraj Mishra is expected to be dropped, reported News18. He may find a place in one of the governors’ houses.

However, all of these are speculations. PM Modi and Amit Shah are fond of surprising everyone.

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