Cabinet re-shuffle to take place on September 3

Posted September 02, 2017

A clear picture is expected to emerge on Sunday (September 3) when the reshuffle is expected to take place.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to rejig his Cabinet any day now, to infuse new blood, ahead of 2019 General Elections. The BJP is expected to accommodate its new allies, especially the Janata Dal (United), which is reportedly planning to send Rajya Sabha MPs RCP Singh and Santosh Kushwaha; the AIADMK has not yet resolved the question of who from the two party factions is to be sent to the Cabinet and has reportedly not received an invitation to join the Cabinet so far.

The Cabinet reshuffle was long overdue and has been necessitated because of several factors.

The cabinet revamp was the cards for weeks because some ministers are holding multiple portfolios adding to their burden and the fact that Modi wants to improve governance before BJP goes to fresh parliamentary polls in 2019.

Besides Jaitley, Harsh Vardhan, Smriti Irani and Narendra Singh Tomar are handling additional charges. The BJP's much touted policy of "one-person-one-office" would have been violated had Pandey continued as a minister.

Arun Jaitley, who was holding the portfolio of Finance and Corporate Affairs, was given the additional charge of Defence. Similarly, railway minister Suresh Prabhu, who had offered to resign last week after two major rail derailments-of the Utkal Express and then the Kaifiyat Express- happened within days of each other, is likely to be moved to the environment portfolio-a charge he had earlier held in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet. This is what he was doing as the chief minister of Gujarat.

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La Dernière Heure , a Brussels newspaper, reported that the man had no known connections to terrorism-related offenses. On Tuesday this week police in Brussels shot at a vehicle after its driver falsely claimed to be carrying explosives.

"The prime minister said that in order to enable all traders to take maximum benefit of GST, we should work towards ensuring that all traders, including even relatively smaller traders with a turnover below Rs20 lakh, should register with the GST system", said an official statement after Modi addressed direct and indirect tax officials at their annual conference, called "gyan sangam". He is also likely to be adjusted in one of the vacant Raj Bhavans as a Governor.

Performing ministers like Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Nirmala Sitharaman, Manoj Sinha and Jitendra Singh - all Ministers of State with independent charge - are likely to be elevated to Cabinet rank.

In fact, Bharti said that she was not in a position to clarify her status and only party chief Amit Shah could speak on the issue. This was followed late on Thursday evening by a slew of Union ministers who offered their resignations.

Apart from the names mentioned above, speculation is rife that agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh could also be asked to quit.

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 the Modi government. The total number of ministers in the council can not exceed 81.