Union Cabinet rejig being worked out

Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns amid reports of likely cabinet reshuffle

Minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy and water resources minister Uma Bharti reportedly resigned from the Union council of ministers amid speculation of an impending Cabinet reshuffle, sources close to them said on Thursday. With PM Narendra Modi set to leave for China for BRICS summit on September 3 and return only on September 7 when the inauspicious "Pitru Paksh" would have got underway, it is widely expected that the cabinet rejig would happen before he departs.

Sources said that it is only after after this development that these leaders have offered to resign from their posts.

Late in the evening, Shah was learnt to have driven down to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence, sources said.

In addition, the cabinet reshuffle exercise may see the creation of some "super ministries" and Nitin Gadkari, widely hailed as among the best performers, may be a direct beneficiary.

Pandey, the junior HRD Minister, earlier in the day was made UP BJP chief, balancing the delicate UP caste equations.

There is speculation that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may shed the additional charge of Defence he is holding now. Suresh Prabhu is likely to be moved out of the Railway Ministry. He said on Thursday that he will not be occupying the Defence Minister post for long, hinting at the imminent reshuffle.

Nirmala Sitharam, who is presently serving as Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, as well as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, was asked to quit.

The last Cabinet reshuffle took place in July a year ago, in which Modi inducted 19 new faces and elevated Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar to Cabinet rank.

During the strategy meeting on the Gujarat elections, besides Jaitley, the election co-incharges, including Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Jitendra Singh, P.P. Chaudhury, state incharge Bhupendra Yadav and state unit chief Jitu Vaghani were also present.

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