NEW DELHI: The buzz around cabinet reshuffle has once again started. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has completed two years, and some ‘good news’ about economy beginning to pour in, changes in union cabinet may take place in next one week.
The Modi government has next round of reforms on mind, while BJP has its eyes fixed on crucial elections coming up in next eight months in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, the twin concerns that are likely to influence the inclusion of new faces into the cabinet, which last saw expansion in November 2014.
Highly placed BJP leader said cabinet reshuffle will happen soon, but it should not be seen linked with the party’s plans for the Uttar Pradesh. Though, he did not commit about the date or the names.
There a buzz that expansion may take place after the completion of Yoga day celebration on June 21. Interestingly, as a senior BJP leader explained recently, every time buzz has been on about cabinet reshuffle, Modi had not done it. “It’s only once all the speculation stopped that such an exercise would be carried out,” the leader remarked.
Sources said the final call will be taken by Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah keeping in mind the fresh talent needed for cabinet, while even staying the focus on the poll bound states. Shah and Modi have already held talks on likely inclusions.
From the states of UP, Punjab, some more names may be included in the cabinet. Among those who are keen on place in the cabinet includes Yogi Adityanath, who represents the Hindutva face of the party in the elections, though he is also keen on becoming a CM candidate in the state. Bhagpat MP Satyapal Singh name, who has been Mumbai police commissioner, is also doing the round. Yogi belongs to Rajput caste, while, Singh is a Jat, both upper castes key to BJP’s poll calculations.
BJP sources pointed that many among the newly elected Rajya Sabha MPs could lucky in this round of cabinet expansion. Among the newly elected MPs to upper house include, Shiv Pratap Shukla, a Brahmin face, from Uttar Pradesh. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe from Maharashtra.
Similarly, from Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu has been elected as Rajya Sabha member. He could be included into the union cabinet to bolster BJP’s chances in the state. Currently, sports ministry is vacant as Sarbananda Sonowal has become Assam CM.
Axe can fall on some of the ministers who have not been able to keep pace with Modi’s vision and demands of delivery.
As the talk of expansion in the union cabinet has been, Shah’s team could also see a few changes as many felt it organization needs to be further strengthened. The expansion buzz had made many ministers nervous as some of them could be dropped.