PM Modi likely to reshuffle cabinet before second half of budget session
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to reshuffle and expand his cabinet before the second half of the Budget Session scheduled on April 20.
While this second expansion of the Cabinet will see new faces, many from allies including the PDP and the Shiv Sena, a few non-performing ministers may face the axe, reports The Mail Today.
The upcoming session is set to be crucial as the Modi government has to take up the Land Acquisition Bill in the Rajya Sabha, after it faced stiff opposition in the first half of the Budget Session.
The expansion and reshuffle exercise of the Cabinet will take place after the two-day national executive meeting of the BJP, starting on April 3 in Bengaluru.
The BJP’s national executive was recently reconstituted and many prominent leaders who did not find place in the new national executive are the youngest Cabinet minister in the Narendra Modi government Smriti Irani, minister Najma Heptullah, popular actor-turned-Mathura MP, Hema Malini and young Maharashtra leader Shaina NC.
According to BJP-PDP deal, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti may be accommodated into the Modi Cabinet, sources said.
The Prime Minister might use the opportunity of the Cabinet reshuffle and expansion to send out a strong message to non-performing ministers and those who have performed well might be rewarded, sources said.
The Prime Minister Modi is keen to drop the Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla from his cabinet, who will turn 75 soon.
It should also be noted that Modi had set up a cut-off age of 75 for ministers in his government.
The Minister of state for Parliamentary and Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is likely to replace Heptulla.
According to sources, Heptullah is likely get governor post of a state.
Minister of state for finance Jayanth Sinha may get additional charge of corporate affairs, sources said.
In his first expansion of the Cabinet in November, Modi had inducted 21 new faces. The Cabinet as of now has 26 cabinet ministers, 13 ministers of state with independent charge and 26 other ministers of state, apart from the PM.
While Maharashtra ally Shiv Sena has been demanding more seats in the Cabinet, sources said that it is likely that Shiv Sena nominee Anil Desai, who was left out of the Cabinet reshuffle and expansion the last time, may be made given ministers of state with independent charge.