Modi cabinet set for reshuffle & possible expansion this week
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to shuffle and give a face-lift to his cabinet two years after coming in for his second term. The move is set to take place with few key agendas in mind – governance during a pandemic and upcoming state elections.
The reshuffle is expected to be held later this week before Parliament’s monsoon session set to begin July 19 onwards.
The reshuffle was on the plate for a long, especially when PM Modi recently launched an assessment of key ministers’ performance during a pandemic and senior leadership meetings being part of that.
Experts believe that the recent second wave of coronavirus pandemic would be a key factor in determining cabinet revamping, as it was the time when the central government came to receiving end for an alleged failure in combating the wave.
Uttar Pradesh’s BJP government is especially at the center of reshuffling and the leadership is keen to balance out the council of ministers for the state. UP was in turmoil as Yogi Adityanath’s government was alleged to fail at handling pandemics in the state followed by many party leaders speaking out against the Yogi government.
Other states that are up for elections too will be considered for the reshuffle process. States up for polls include Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Manipur, Punjab, and Goa.
Political developments in recent years too would influence the reshuffle, party sources confirmed. Jyotiraditya Scindia who joined BJP along with over 20 MLAs from Congress helped BJP register to win and come to power in Madhya Pradesh. Sarbananda Sonowal, former Assam Chief Minister, and Scindia are expected to find a key place in the Modi government.
Cabinet expansion too is on cards for the Modi government that currently has 53 Council of Ministers, whereas it can have up to 81 members which are 15% of the strength of the Lok Sabha.