Modi to reshuffle his council of ministers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers his speech after a meeting and agreement exchange ceremony with Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in New Delhi on August 24

"It's not my decision, it's the decision of the party, and I will follow (it)", Rudy said. PM Modi is planning a massive rejig of his Cabinet on Sunday at 10 am. 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. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is now holding dual ministries - finance and defence - will let go of defence.

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

Speaking to ANI, the Uttar Pradesh BJP chief said that he has already conveyed about his resignation to BJP President Amit Shah and will soon be talking to Prime Minister Modi in the regard. The first reason behind the move is that there are several vacancies in key ministries. These include, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha and Minister- Development of North Eastern Region- Jitendra Singh.

While Piyush Goyal now looks after the Power and Energy ministry, Dharmendra Pradhan has Petroleum ministry.

The prime minister said human interface must be minimized in the tax administration's dealings. The BJP's much touted policy of "one-person-one-office" would have been violated had Pandey continued as a minister.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had also hinted to have offered to resign after Kalinga-Utkal Express crash but was asked to "wait" by the Prime Minister. Prabhu is likely to get environment, the portfolio he held in the then Vajpayee government.

AIADMK leader Thambidurai had met Shah on Thursday, and he, besides party leaders P Venugopal and V Maitreyan, may be the likely representatives from the Tamil Nadu party if it decides to join the government. He is also likely to be adjusted in one of the vacant Raj Bhavans as a Governor. Mishra is over 75-years-old and as the unwritten rule in BJP-RSS ranks under Modi's leadership go, everyone beyond that age may make way for the younger generation. He thus needs to weed out the dead wood from the government and infuse new blood in the cabinet. The PMO has taken a performance review of ministers, based on which some may be promoted while other removed.

Third, had the Doklam crisis not been resolved amicably as indeed it was on August 28, Modi would have definitely been under enormous pressure to appoint a full-fledged defence minister, because in that event a part-time defence minister would have been politically incorrect.

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