With Prime Minister Narendra Modi all set to go in for a major Cabinet reshuffle and expansion, three ministers are reported to have been asked to step down, while some more are likely to go. The others are Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Balyan and Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh.
Existing ministers Dharmendra Pradhan (petroleum) and Piyush Goyal (power), who have independent charge of their respective ministries, may be elevated to Cabinet positions.
The reshuffle may take place before Modi departs for China to attend the BRICS summit.
Finance and corporate affairs minister Arun Jaitley was given the additional charge of defence, while Smriti Irani got the additional portfolio of information and broadcasting.
A cabinet reshuffle has been on the cards since Manohar Parrikar resigned as Defence Minister to become Chief Minister of Goa. Reports say reshuffle may take place on September 2. Apart from meeting the ministers to hold discussions about their performance, the two leaders also met RSS, party MPs and chief ministers to evaluate who was to be dropped. However, sources said the AIADMK's entry might be delayed till the problems in the party were resolved.
Brush Fire Prompts Closure of 210 Freeway in Sun Valley Area
As of noon on Saturday, between 500 to 1,000 residents living in 700 homes have been evacuated from areas affected by the fire. Fire officials will be flying over the area at 6 a.m.to get a better assessment of what has burned .
Union minister Mahendra Nath Pandey was on Thursday appointed Uttar Pradesh BJP president.
After Prabhu offered his resignation last week, Prime Minister Modi reportedly asked him to continue till he takes decision in the matter.
Rudy is expected to be given organisational work. Junior Health Minister Faggan Singh Kulaste were also learnt to have been summoned by the BJP president.
Harsh Vardhan, who is heading the Ministry of Science and Technology, was charged to head the Ministry of Environment following the demise of Anil Madhav Dave in May.
Against this backdrop, sources said, fresh faces in the Union Council of Ministers were expected from poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka along with some from Rajasthan, and Maharashtra among others.