NEW DELHI: In the first clear indication of an impending Cabinet reshuffle, BJP chief Amit Shah is understood to have taken resignations from a certain number of ministers on Thursday. Sources said Shah met separately with those being dropped from the council of ministers and asked them to submit their resignations. “Kalraj Mishra, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Giriraj Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Sanjeev Baliyan and Uma Bharti will be dropped,” claimed sources.
Express has learnt that a few of them have already submitted their resignations to BJP organisational secretary Ram Lal. “Rudy, Giriraj Singh and Baliyan have submitted their resignations. All three are being dropped for failing to deliver on key promises of the NDA government,” sources said.
Uma Bharti is also being dropped from the Cabinet, allegedly for her lack of performance. Sources attribute this to her failure to deliver on Modi’s commitment to clean the Ganges, made in Varnasi ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. However, while submitting her resignation, she cited health as the reason behind her decision.
Sitharam, meanwhile, is expected to return to party works. Shah is seeking to draft her for a key role in his ambitious Mission South agenda. Kalraj Mishra, who is past the unofficial age ceiling of 75 years to serve in the government, is tipped to be headed for a gubernatorial assignment. Ministers of State Mahendra Nath Pandey and Vijay Sampla, who are party unit chiefs in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, are also set to be dropped from the council.
There is no clarity, yet, on the future of Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, who had offered to quit over derailment of the Utkal Express. “He may not be dropped from the Cabinet, but his portfolio might be changed,” added sources. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a brand new ally of the BJP, is keen on the railways portfolio for his party. Cabinet reshuffle is likely on Saturday, after President Ram Nath Kovind returns from Tirupati.
Interestingly, close associates of Rudy reached out to the media trying to convey his side of the story. “He has been given the new Ministry of Skill Development. It has neither an office nor any experienced staff to rely on. Hence, it would be highly unreasonable to expect him to deliver on tall promises made by the government,” they said.
Will overburdened four get relief?
Four ministers — Arun Jaitley, Smriti Irani, Narendra Tomar and Harsh Vardhan — hold additional charges of different ministries. Finance Minister Jaitley took over Defence after Manohar Parrikar became Goa CM. Textiles Minister Irani got additional charge of I&B and Rural Development Minister Tomar took over Urban Development after Venkaiah Naidu became the Vice-President. Science & Technology Minister Vardhan took over MoEF after the Anil Madhav Dave passed away. The Cabinet reshuffle is likely to take place on Saturday, once President Kovind returns from Tirupati
Berths for AIADMK?
M Thambidurai and K Venugopal are likely representatives of the AIADMK if the party joins the BJP government at the Centre