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BW Businessworld

It Is A Major Cabinet Reshuffle Confirmed; What Are The Trends And Indications

It is official now as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to reshuffle his council of ministers on July 8. Top three who are among the list for the ministerial birth including Narayan Rane from Maharashtra, Shantanu Thakur from West Bengal and Sarbananda Sonowal from Assam already landed in Delhi on Tuesday. And, Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia has also arrived in Delhi, abruptly cancelling his trip to Dewas in Madhya Pradesh. In addition to that Meenakshi Lekhi, Kapil Patil, Ajay Bhatt, Heena Gavit, Pritam Munde and Shobha Karandlaje are among those leaders present for the interaction with the PM. What are the other major indications now?

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to expand his council of ministers soon. It is official now as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to reshuffle his council of ministers on July 8. The Union Cabinet reshuffle will take place at 6 pm on Wednesday at the Durbar Hall in Rashtrapati Bhavan with COVID appropriate protocols in place. Top three who are among the list for the ministerial birth including Narayan Rane from Maharashtra, Shantanu Thakur from West Bengal and Sarbananda Sonowal from Assam already landed in Delhi on Tuesday. And, Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia  has also arrived in Delhi, abruptly cancelling his trip to Dewas in Madhya Pradesh. On way to Delhi, he visited to the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple in Ujjain. In all likelihood, those names are secured to be new face of cabinet. Speculation rests only the ministerial assignments that need to be allocated.

PM has marathon meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh on Monday to finalise the names to be inducted in the expanded Union cabinet. The current strength of the Council of Ministers is 53, excluding PM Modi. Out of 53 without PM Modi, there are 21 cabinet ministers, nine ministers with independent charge, and 23 ministers of state in the union council of ministers. 

As defined in the Constitution, the number of ministers in the Union council of ministers cannot exceed more than 15% of total Lok Sabha MPs.  Its maximum strength can be 81. So that means there are 24 ministerial birth that could be allocated which is a sizeable number to expand the cabinet.

Whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fill all the ministerial birth is yet to be seen. But sources have confirmed that in likelihood, There would be a major cabinet reshuffle with as a many as over 20 ministers to be inducted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to factor in polls in five states next year and the 2024 national election as he expands his cabinet for the first time in his second term.


Indications and Trends likely in the Cabinet Reshuffle

As per the highly placed sources, UP will get the majority of slots as present cabinet already has 10 members from the state. It is also backed the by the caste arithmetic and keeping the upcoming election as factor.

Again building upon the upcoming election, other big states such as Maharashtra and West Bengal, which recently went to the polls, will secure major representation in the Union cabinet.

There is strong indication that a senior general secretary of the BJP is expected to get a Cabinet berth.

Highly placed Sources have told BW Businessworld that JD(U) national president RCP Singh is discussing the cabinet expansion with the party the BJP. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has already confirmed that talks are on for the ministerial birth in the cabinet reshuffle.  Interestingly, JD(U) has 16 MPs in Bihar as the per proportional representation, their demand is to induct 4 MPs in the Union Cabinet.

Karnataka BJP MP A Narayanaswamy who is a first-time Dalit MP also landed in Delhi. He is part of SC/ST committee and plays crucial role in Dalit’s representation. He is likely to get a birth for he holds the key position as “young and Dalit”. 

PM Modi’s thrust on SC/ST is visible as there is now a record number of governors from SC/ST in the country. From the SC communities, Thawarchand Gehlot, Rajendra Arlekar and Narayan Arya have been appointed as Governors and the tribal communities, Mangubhai Patel has been made the Governor of Madhya Pradesh.

Sources have also confirmed the names of Meenakshi Lekhi, Kapil Patil, Ajay Bhatt, Heena gavit, Anupriya Patel, Pritam Munde and Shobha Karandlaje are among those leaders present for the interaction with the PM. 

Dr Heena Gavit, a doctor by profession, is one of the youngest members of Parliament. Heena joined the BJP in New Delhi on Mar 21, 2014, in the presence of Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi. She has been leading the youth brigade and she is known as a feisty leader.

According to the sources, three ministers with state portfolio (MoS) are likely to be promoted in the cabinet reshuffle: MoS G Kishan Reddy, MoS Anurag Thakur and MoS Parshottam Rupala.

Another set of in-waiting ministerial candidates are from Uttarakhand and West Bengal. Leaders like BJP MP Tirath Singh Rawat who just resigned as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand is also likely to be given a place in the cabinet. From west Bengal, Dilip Ghosh and Locket Chatterjee might find a place in the reshuffled Cabinet as well. 

Name which is making good noise is from Ladakh. Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Lok Sabha MP, from Ladakh, is seen as among the strong contender for  the Cabinet.