UP, Punjab elections in mind, Modi to rejig his team next week?

There was a buzz that the expansion may take place after the completion of Yoga Day celebration on June 21.

Published: 16th June 2016 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2016 09:04 AM   |  A+A-

Mexico India_Rich

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi waves following a joint statement to the press with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, in Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City. |AP

NEW DELHI: The buzz around Cabinet reshuffle has once again started. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has completed two years, and some ‘good news’ about economy has started coming in, changes in the Union Cabinet may take place in the next week.

UP, Punjab.jpgThe government has the next round of reforms on mind, while the BJP has its eyes fixed on crucial elections coming up in the next eight months in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa — the twin concerns that are likely to influence the inclusion of new faces in the Cabinet, which was last expanded in November 2014.

A highly-placed BJP leader said the Cabinet reshuffle will happen soon, but it should not be seen linked with the party’s plans for Uttar Pradesh. However, the leader did not commit about the date or the names.

There was a buzz that the expansion may take place after the completion of Yoga Day celebration on June 21. Interestingly, as a senior BJP leader explained recently, every time there was a buzz about Cabinet reshuffle, Modi had not done it. “It’s only when all such speculation stops that such an exercise would be carried out,” the leader said.

UP.jpgSources said the final call will be taken by Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah keeping in mind the fresh talent needed for the Cabinet, while retaining focus on the poll-bound states. Shah and Modi have already held talks on likely inclusions. From the states of UP and Punjab, more names may be included in the Cabinet.

Those who are keen on a place in the Cabinet include 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’s name is also doing the rounds.

He was earlier the Mumbai police commissioner. Yogi belongs to the Rajput caste, while Singh is a Jat — both upper castes key to BJP’s poll calculations. BJP sources pointed out that many among the newly elected Rajya Sabha MPs could get lucky in this round of Cabinet expansion.

The newly elected MPs to the Upper House include Shiv Pratap Shukla, a Brahmin face, from Uttar Pradesh and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe from Maharashtra.

Kamal Nath resigns as Punjab Cong

poll in-charge Congress leader Kamal Nath has quit as AlCC in-charge for the coming Punjab elections, just three days after he was given the assignment. This was following a controversy over his alleged role in the 1984 Sikh riots. 

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