Experimenting with the E3 formula —- Experience, energy & expertise—-PM Narendra Modi will today expand his Cabinet. The expansion will chiefly reflect the BJP’s strategy in the crucial state from where the party has its maximum MPs (71), along with 2 from its ally Apna Dal, thereby taking the total to a staggering 73 out of the total 80.
It is also being said that the top four portfolios— Home, Finance, External Affairs and Defence—are unlikely to be touched.
However, Congress believes that reshuffle of the Union Council of Ministers would hardly make any difference as it is a “one-man government”. These are the 10 things to know before the Cabinet expansion:
1) According to reports, there is a likelihood of smaller parties getting a berth during the cabinet expansion.
2) Leaders from the Apna Dal, Shiv Sena and Republican Party of India (RPI), which had announced its support to the BJP for the Mumbai civic polls due next year, will be included in the Cabinet this time, says ANI. But, Times Now suggests that Shiv Sena hasn’t received the invite for the ceremony.
3) The Prime Minister is likely to keep regional balances especially in view of the upcoming elections in key states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab.
4) It is learnt that those likely to be inducted are P P Chaudhary, Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, M J Akbar, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Anil Madhav Dave, Ramesh Jigajinagi, Parshottam Rupala, Jasvantsinh Bhabhor, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Faggan Kulaste, Vijay Goel, Anupriya Patel, Mansukh Mandaviya, S S Ahluwalia, Rajen Gohain, C R Chaudhary, Ajay Tamta, Ramdas Athawale and Krishna Raj.
5) These 19 come from more than ten states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Assam.
6) Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi are set to be promoted courtesy their splendid performances.
7) Sarbananda Sonowal, who held the Sports portfolio, took over as the Chief Minister of Assam post the BJP’s win in the northeastern state. A new Sports Minister is on the cards.
8) Another key element of today’s rejig would be the Prime Minister’s decision on the below 75 year age criteria for a membership of the council.
9) As a result of which, the fate of Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra will be decided today.
10) Last but not the least, the top four portfolios—Home, Finance, External Affairs and Defence—are unlikely to be touched.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI & TV)