Rudy quits, others may follow suit as Cabinet rejig on cards

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Sep 2017 08:37:22


 

NEW DELHI,

Kalraj Mishra, Uma Bharti, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Sanjeev Balyan may also resign

Modi may induct new faces, from the JD(U) and AIADMK

PM may club infrastructure ministries together and also move some party seniors to Raj Bhavans

Reshuffle likely before Modi leaves for China on Sunday

A RESHUFFLE of the Union Council of Ministers appeared imminent with Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigning on Thursday night amid speculation that some more ministers may quit ahead of the exercise expected before Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for China on Sunday.
Rudy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi around 8 p.m and put in his papers. According to the sources, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah earlier in the day met Rudy and asked him to resign.


“Yes, I have put in my papers and it is part of the process,” he told IANS over phone, refusing to elaborate on the reasons behind his resignation.
Rudy, a BJP Member of Parliament from Saran in Bihar, held Independent Charge of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
He is likely to be given some responsibility in the party organisation.


Sources said Kalraj Mishra, who had met Shah on Thursday, may also resign. He is well above 75 years, the age bar the party has informally set for ministers.
Earlier in the day, Union Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey was appointed Uttar Pradesh BJP President in place of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, creating one more vacancy in the Council of Ministers.
Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti has also reportedly offered to quit on health grounds.


Faggan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare and Sanjeev Balyan too had put in papers, according to unconfirmed reports.
Sources said more ministers may resign as Modi prepares to induct new faces, including those from the JD(U) and AIADMK, into his council of ministers.


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. At least two members of the JD(U) are also likely to join.
BJP chief Amit Shah, who held a meeting with some senior ministers at his residence in the morning, met Modi later in the day.


The President is scheduled to leave for Tirupati on Friday. As of now nothing has been communicated to Rashtrapati Bhavan, as per sources.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be out of the country from September 3 for four days, was expected to reshuffle his council of ministers soon, sources said.
Modi leaves for China for a Brics summit in the port city of Xiamen from September 3-5 and will be in Myanmar for a day before returning home on September 7.


Given that the Shradh, or Pitru Paksh, considered an inauspicious period, will run from September 6 to 19, sources said it was possible that the much-awaited exercise could be carried out before Modi leaves for China.
Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday hinted that he would not continue to hold the defence portfolio for long.
“At least not for very long,” the FM said in response to questions by the media on how long he would continue as Defence Minister.


Besides Jaitley, three other Union ministers are holding additional charges of different ministries.
Textiles Minister Smriti Irani is holding additional charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry portfolio, while Rural Development Minister Narendra Tomar has additional charge of the Urban Development Ministry after Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu resigned from his ministerial responsibilities to take up the high office.


Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan is holding additional charge of the Environment portfolio following the death of Anil Madhav Dave in May.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had offered to resign owning moral responsibility for the recent train accidents, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put it on hold.


Sources say that Modi may club infrastructure ministries together and also move some party seniors to Raj Bhavans. At least seven gubernatorial positions are vacant at the moment. Some Ministers of State with independent charge may be given promotions, sources added.