Union ministers resign ahead of cabinet reshuffle

New Delhi, Jul 7 : After weeks of speculation over a Cabinet reshuffle and expansion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers is set to get a major rejig today. A number of incumbent ministers, including Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister Chemicals and Fertilizers Sadananda Gowda – Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Danve Raosaheb Dadarao – Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar – Education Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank – Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotr – Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan – Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and MSME Pratap Chandra Sarangi – Debasree Chaudhuri – Rattan Lal Kataria – Union Minister of State (Health) Ashwini Choubey – Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo have resigned yet.

More details are awaited. The reshuffle comes amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and with an eye on the five state assembly elections scheduled for early next year. Many new faces are likely to be inducted into the Union Cabinet.

News reports suggest that women leaders from the governing National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as well as marginalised communities will find greater representation. With a number of young leaders being inducted, the average age of the ministerial team will also fall, perhaps to the lowest in the country’s history, some news reports claimed. Prominent leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies reached Delhi over the last few days in anticipation of the Cabinet rejig exercise. These include senior leaders such as Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sarbananda Sonowal and Narayan Rane. Some political leaders from other NDA parties, such as LJP’s Pashupati Kumar Paras, could also get a Cabinet berth. This will the first rejig of the second Modi Ministry. In his first stint as the prime minister, Modi had reshuffled his ministerial team at least thrice between 2014 and 2019.

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