Stage Set for Modi Cabinet 2.0; Sarbanada, Scindia, Rane Already at PM’s Residence

Published: July 7,2021 03:23 PM

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20-25 new faces are likely to be inducted in PM Modi’s Cabinet that would work with an eye on the assembly elections in 6 states next year and General Elections of 2024.

July 7, 2021: Just few hours left for the mega rejig and swearing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet 2.0. As many as 20-25 new faces are likely to be added to the Union Cabinet with an eye on the assembly election in 6 states next year and 2024 General Elections.

As per a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique, the searing in ceremony would begin at 6PM.

Since Tuesday, several of the frontrunners including former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, former Congress leader and Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and former Maharashtra CM and BJP leader Narayan Rane have started to reach New Delhi.

Till 2PM today, most of the probables – Sonowal, Scindia, Rane, Meenakshi Lekhi. Kapil Patil, Heena Gavit, Ajay Bhatt have already reached 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, official resident of PM Modi. It is customary to call on the PM before being sworn in as a minister of the Union Cabinet.

The other names which are likely to be inducted in the Union Cabinet are BJP’s National Vice President and spokesperson B J Panda, RCP Singh, JD (U), Anupriya Patel, Apna Dal, Lalan Singh, BJP, Pashupati Paras, LJP, Pankaj Chowdhury, BJP, Ramshankar Katheria, BJP MP from Etawah, UP, Varun Gandhi, BJP MP from Pilibhit, UP, Rahul Kaswan, BJP MP from Churu, Rajashthan.

According to political analysts, Modi might accommodate more faces from state like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Goa, Manipur, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, state which would be facing assembly polls next year.

The expansion is also expected to consider the fact that at least nine ministers have 2 or 3 ministries to handle and some of the Union Ministers have been functioning without a Minister of State.

Eight ministers with additional charges are -

• Prakash Javadekar – 3 ministries -- Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change; Information & Broadcasting; & Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises,

• Piyush Goyal – 3 ministries -- Minister of Railways; Commerce & Industry; Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution,

• Dharmendra Pradhan – 2 ministries -- Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel

• Nitin Gadkari – 2 ministries - Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

• Narendra Singh Tomar – 3 ministries - Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Food Processing Industries

• Ravi Shankar Prasad 2 ministries - Law & Justice, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology

• Smriti Irani – 2 ministries - Textiles and Women & Child Development

• Hardeep Singh Puri – 2 ministries - Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs (I/C); Civil Aviation (I/C); & MoS Commerce & Industry

The reshuffle is taking place after 7 years. Modi took over as the Prime Minister for a second term in 2019, since then he had continued with 53 ministers in his Council of Ministers.

Modi’s Cabinet has 53 Ministers now. The number can go up to 81.

According to Article 72 of the Constitution, the total number of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers should not exceed 15 per cent of the number of members of the House of the People.

When Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed his government for the first time in March 1998, he had 21 Cabinet and 21 Ministers of State some with independent charge. At the beginning of his second stint in October 1999, there were 22 Cabinet and equal numbers of Ministers of State. Subsequently, it was expanded to suit political expediencies.

The UPA-I and UPA-II led by Manmohan Singh began with over 50 ministers and at some stage the maximum strength was 78.