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BW Businessworld Exclusive: Cabinet Expansion On 23rd June To See Many New Faces

BW has now exclusively accessed a list of 16 names that are likely to be added to the list of ministers at the center.

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A relentless buzz has persisted over the capital in light of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s whistle-stop meetings with the party top brass and cabinet colleagues. The cabinet is due for expansion given that on account of resignations & deaths, many ministers are saddled with multiple portfolios. 

The deaths of Ram Vilas Paswan of the LJP & Suresh Angadi of the BJP have left a cabinet berth and a ministry of state position vacant. And the posts occupied by members of the Shiv Sena & the Shiromani Akali Dal before they quit the NDA have also been reallocated to other ministers. 

BW has now exclusively accessed a list of 16 names that are likely to be added to the list of ministers at the center.

The list includes new entrants to the BJP including Jyotiraditya Scindia, till recently a senior Congress leader and the scion of the erstwhile royal family Gwalior as well as former Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi who joined the ruling party from the Trinamool Congress. Scindia is tipped to be rewarded with a heavyweight ministry as reward for bringing Madhya Pradesh to BJP’s kitty last year. 

Apart from this newly minted ally Pashupati Paras, the younger brother of the late Ram Vilas Paswan, who is currently locked in the battle for the takeover of the LJP with his nephew Chirag Paswan; and R C P Singh from BJP’s Bihar ally JD(U) are likely to join the government. 

From the BJP, Suresh Prabhu is likely to return to the cabinet, tipped as Health Minister, and Bihar heavyweight Sushil Modi will purportedly join to lead the Railways ministry. In addition, former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is reportedly being considered for either the Heavy Industries Ministry or in high likelihood to head a newly minted Ministry for the North East. 

In addition to these Rajya Sabha MPs Bhupender Yadav, Saroj Pandey & Sudhanshu Trivedi are likely to be inducted. Former bureaucrats, retired IAS officer Ashwini Vaishnab & ex-IFS officer Syed Akbaruddin may also be seen in the cabinet. The list is topped off by young MPs Varun Gandhi (Lok Sabha – Pilibhit) & Jamyang Tsering Namgyal (Lok Sabha – Ladakh). 

There is also buzz around a former CM, another former bureaucrat and a leading business professional joining the cabinet, but our sources were unable to give us the details on these names. 

Since 57 ministers took oath on 30th May 2019 at the commencement of the Narendra Modi’s second term as Prime Minister there has been no expansion. There have also been murmurs around the performance of certain ministers who are possibly likely to be replaced, and in certain cases on account of other priorities reallocated to non-ministerial responsibilities. BW has a separate exclusive on that aspect here.

Also Read The Development Post Union Ministers & Senior Party Leaders Meeting On 19 June