PM to meet council of ministers ahead of Cabinet rejig

Modi to meet council of ministers on Wednesday ahead of Cabinet rejig

The meeting, to be held virtually, is the latest in the series of meetings the Prime Minister has had with his Cabinet colleagues

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: PTI Photo

Ahead of an impending Cabinet reshuffle soon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a review meeting of Union council of ministers on Wednesday to take stock of the performance of various departments and discuss the Covid situation.

The meeting, to be held virtually, is the latest in the series of meetings the Prime Minister has had with his Cabinet colleagues and senior party leaders in last month amid a growing buzz that there will be a rejig in both the government at Centre and the party as Modi 2:0 government is nearing the middle point of its five-year term.

The attempt to give a fresh look to both the government and the party is on the anvil as elections are scheduled in half a dozen states next year and the party would also like to empower the generation-next ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

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This is on the line of what Modi had done during his first tenure during 2017 Cabinet reshuffle, bringing in several new faces and sending a message of women empowerment with the elevation of Nirmala Sitharaman as Defence Minister.

This had made the entry of two women ministers possible in the crucial Cabinet Committee on security, the other being the then External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj. Besides, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal had got elevations, while Uma Bharati had lost a crucial ministry, the Ministry of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation, that oversaw Modi's Namami Gange mission.
 
2021 Cabinet rejig will focus on creating a new leadership before 2024.

While Wednesday's meeting is primarily to review the work done by Infrastructure ministries like the Road and Transport Ministry, Civil Aviation and Telecom ministries, Modi had earlier held meetings in different groups with Cabinet and MoS rank ministers, carrying out their performance review.

While BJP chief J P Nadda was present in most of these meetings, held at the Prime Minister's residence, a meeting was also held later at BJP headquarters, which was attended by a number of senior ministers as well as senior BJP leaders, giving rise to the buzz that the reshuffle this time could witness changes both at the government and at the party level.

Some successful former chief ministers of the party like Devendra Fadnavis and Sarbananda Sonowal could be inducted in the Union Cabinet, while the inductions of some young leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia in the Cabinet will be done keeping in mind their projection for larger roles later. Some of the articulate Union ministers, who have been in the forefront of defending the government and the party on contentious issues like Covid-19, may get a change of roles. Through the reshuffle, the government may seek to give some more focus on the Information and Broadcasting Ministry as well.

Some of the party general secretaries including BJP in-charge for Bihar Bhupendra Yadav, who is close to Home Minister Amit Shah, might find a place of prominence in the Cabinet ahead of UP polls, where BJP's rival Samajwadi Party has solid backing of Yadavs.

BJP UP chief Swatantra Dev Singh, Madhya Pradesh leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, a Brahmin face and Bihar's former Dy CM Sushil Modi, are likely to be accommodated. From allies in the Hindi belt, two from JDU, one from Pashupati Kumar Paras-led LJP, one from Apna Dal in UP, maya find a bearth.

 

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