Many new faces to join ministry tomorrow

Many new faces to join ministry tomorrow

Parrikar to resign as Goa chief minister today

Many new faces to join ministry tomorrow

The first Cabinet expansion of the nearly six-month-old Narendra Modi government will take place on Sunday afternoon with the induction of several new faces from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and allies, the Shiv Sena and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Manohar Parrikar, who will resign as Goa chief minister on Saturday, will be sworn in, among others, by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan at 1 pm.
Parrikar announced in Panaji that he would put in his papers at 11:30 am on Saturday to get ready for a stint at South Block.

He is expected to take charge of the Defence Ministry – one of the three portfolios now handled by Arun Jaitley.

Parrikar, a Modi favourite, is likely to be made a member of the Rajya Sabha (RS). There is a slot available for the party in Uttar Pradesh, where the RS poll is due on November 20.

The BJP parliamentary board meeting is expected to take place on Saturday morning to decide on the change of guard in Goa which is unlikely to be a smooth affair after Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza openly voiced his feelings over succeeding Parrikar.

Modi is expected to offer tea and snacks to new entrants before the oath taking ceremony. Even at the time of forming the NDA government in May, Modi surprised several leaders when he had called them for tea without intimating that the event was to disclose that they would be made ministers. At least a dozen new faces will be inducted into Team Modi. Party sources said Modi may surprise everyone with some names that were not mentioned earlier.

The expansion is being done to give more representation to different regions and caste identities. The strong contenders from the BJP are: vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, former finance minister Yashwant Sinha’s son Jayant Sinha, Maharashtra MP Hansraj Ahir, Giriraj Singh and Ram Kripal Yadav from Bihar and Jat leader from Haryana Birender Singh.

The government is expected to give more representation to Rajasthan and Punjab, where the names of Col Sonaram Chaudhary, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Vijay Sampla are doing the rounds.

Modi has already held discussions with TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and is understood to have left the discretion of nominating a member from his party to the Cabinet to Naidu.

Y S Chaudhary and C M Ramesh are front-runners from the TDP.

Modi has also offered two more slots to the Shiv Sena so that the regional ally comes on board Devendra Fadnavis  government in Maharashtra.

Ministers taking care of multiple ministries will be divested of some portfolios, while some others will be promoted to Cabinet rank.
DHNS & Agencies