Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 7
Ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday evening, those expected to be sworn in met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence here in the afternoon.
Those who were seen around 7 Lok Kalyan Marg included Jyotiraditya Scindia, Narayan Rane and Sarbananda Sonowal.
Sources say Anurag Thakur, who was also present at meeting, along with Purushottam Rupala, is likely to be rewarded with a higher rank.
Maharashtra MP Heena Gavit, Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi and Kapil Patil were also present at the meeting, also attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and party president JP Nadda.
It is after long that the national capital is witnessing such a hectic political activity with speculation about who all have made the cut in the first-ever reshuffle of the Narendra Modi 2.0 Cabinet.
The surprise decision of appointing Thawarchand Gehlot as Karnataka Governor also showed that the reshuffle will be an all-encompassing exercise, involving the needs of the Modi government and the political considerations of the BJP.
There is no official confirmation of the names of all those who will be included. Sources, however, say preference will be given to “administrative experience, qualifications and performance of MPs as grassroots leaders”.
“Women, Dalits, and members of the OBC community are likely to be given preference in the new council."
“There will be younger, educated faces. MPs from Dalit and OBC communities and women will be given more representation,” sources say. More than 20 MPs are believed to have “received the call to be present in Delhi in the next two-three days.”
Modi’s Cabinet has 53 ministers; it can have 81.
Ahead of the reshuffle, eight states got new governors with President Ram Nath Kovind making four new appointments and transferring four others. Social Justice Minister Thawarchand Gehlot, who was appointed the Governor of Karnataka, became the first minister to lose his berth.
Those in the know of developments say “talent will be rewarded and laggards removed” in the mid-term course correction. The selections have been made considering the issues regarding governance during the Covid pandemic and imperatives of the upcoming state elections, including Uttar Pradesh.
Meanwhile, sources say JD-U chief Nitish Kumar, who preferred to stay out of the Modi cabinet in 2019, has demanded four berths, two Cabinet and two Ministers of State for his party keeping in mind their strength in the Lok Sabha.
The JD-U will be represented by one cabinet minister and three Ministers of State, say sources.
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