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Cabinet rejig imminent; hopefuls head to Delhi

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 06, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi   -  PTI

Governor transfers, appointments seen as first step; PM can add up to 28 ministers to his 53-member Council

The buzz around a Cabinet expansion became loud on Tuesday afternoon when a Presidential order transferred and appointed as many as eight Governors, including moving Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot to the gubernatorial post in Karnataka.

Senior BJP leader BL Santosh was in a huddle with party president JP Nadda while coordination was under way with NDA allies.

Waiting in the wings

There was a flurry of arrivals in the Capital of several Cabinet aspirants, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, who needs to be accommodated for his role in toppling the Kamal Nath-led Congress Government in Madhya Pradesh last year; Pashupati Nath Paras of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP); and Lalan Singh and RCP Singh of the Janata Dal (United), which does not have a representative in the Cabinet so far.

RCP Singh came to Delhi reportedly to negotiate for better representation for the JD(U), which is said to have asked for two Cabinet and two Ministers of State (MoS) berths. Chirag Paswan told a press conference that Paras cannot be accommodated in the Cabinet as an LJP MP as he has been sacked from the party.

BJP in poll mode ahead of elections in 7 States

Former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who was replaced by Himanta Biswa Sarma in the recent Assembly polls, and Maharashtra strongman Narayan Rane were also on way to the Capital.

The list of Cabinet probables included Santanu Thakur, a leader of the Matua community from the Bongaon of Bengal, who has mobilised support for the BJP; Nisith Pramanik, also from Bengal, and Anupriya Patel of the Apna Dal from Uttar Pradesh.

The Council of Ministers is 53 strong, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi can take on 28 more. Several incumbents hold multiple portfolios, including Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, and Prakash Javdekar, even as political appointments need to be made.

Top BJP leaders hold meeting at party headquarters

New Governors

The Governor transfers today included PS Sreedharan Pillai, who was transferred from Mizoram to Goa; Satyadev Narayan Arya from Haryana to Tripura; Ramesh Bais from Tripura to Jharkhand; and Bandaru Dattatreya from Himachal Pradesh to Haryana.

New appointments included Hari Babu Kambhampati as Governor of Mizoram; Mangubhai Chhaganbhai Patel (Madhya Pradesh) and Rajendra Vishwanatha Arlekar (Himachal Pradesh).

 

Published on July 06, 2021

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