A Cabinet reshuffle has been talked about for some months now but is likely to take place before the inauspicious period starting mid-December. Among the probables are Bihar’s former deputy chief minister Sushil Modi, who gave broad hints in a tweet on Sunday that he was ready to accept any new responsibility. He may be given the food and consumer affairs ministry that fell vacant after the passing away of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.
Former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is now a BJP Rajya Sabha member, may get an important ministry as he has been instrumental in the victory of Congress rebels from the Chambal-Gwalior region in the recent bypolls.
Some MPs from West Bengal and Assam are also likely to be accommodated in Modi’s team if the reshuffle takes place. Elections are due in the two states in May 2021. BJP had won 18 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats from the state in 2019. The name of Locket Chatterjee has been doing the rounds.
Minister of state for railways Suresh Aghadi, who hailed from Karnataka, passed away due to Covid. His post is also vacant.
It is not clear if JDU will finally become a part of the Union Cabinet as BJP is ready to part with only one ministry for its partner. With its strength in Bihar assembly reduced, JDU may give up its demand of two berths and settle for one.
Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar and Prakash Javadekar are holding additional portfolios due to the resignations of ministers belonging the Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal, as the two have walked out of the NDA.
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