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02 September 2017, 01:01 | Audrey Hill
5 Indian ministers resign
The current strength of the council of ministers, including the PM, is 73 and the maximum number of ministers can not go beyond 81.
Bandaru Dattatreya, Minister of State for Labour and Employment (independent charge) resigned from his post on Friday. "This is what he has been doing as the Gujarat Chief Minister". These ministers include Uma Bharti (minister for water resources and Ganga rejuvenation-citing her health problems), Rajiv Pratap Rudy (skill development), Radha Mohan Singh (agriculture), Faggan Singh Kulaste (health), among others.
Second, there is a TINA (there is no alternative) factor as Modi doesn't have very many options who have the experience and the stature to handle a ministry as vital as defence, particularly after the recent India-China tensions which may have subsided to some extent but definitely not evaporated completely.
Let's have a look at what is expected at the tomorrow's Cabinet reshuffle. It will also see changes in health ministry (JP Nadda), agriculture (Radha Mohan Singh) and civil aviation, now held by the TDP, as crucial AI disinvestment will have to be undertaken.
Speculations are rife that Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu may be removed as he recently offered to resign taking responsibility for a string of train accidents. One of them is Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Kalraj Mishra, who is likely to be sent to Maharashtra.
"This is a decision by the Prime Minister, the government and the party and we are the soldiers of the party".
AIADMK's Thambi Durai and K Venugopal are being seen as among likely representatives of their party in the Cabinet if the Tamil Nadu party joins NDA. The Performance Audit, tabled in July, said "There were long delays in approval of Detailed Project Reports leading to technical designs becoming irrelevant at the time of actual funding". Purandeswari, who was a minister in Dr Manmohan Singh's cabinet had joined BJP just before the general elections in 2014 and now heads the BJP's Mahila Morcha. A dozen new ministers are expected to join the government while a number of old hands - five ministers - have already put in their papers. Another contender could be Rajya Sabha MP, V Maithreyan. Besides, equally interlinked is the issue of gubernatorial appointments and the government is likely to announce seven or eight new state governors, many of whom may be from the present Cabinet.
It is speculated that NPP national president Conrad Sangma, who is also a Lok Sabha MP from Tura and BJP bigwig from Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma who is also the state Finance Minister will likely be the new faces in the PM Modi cabinet.
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