Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake the third and probably last major recasting of his council of ministers before the next Lok Sabha polls in 2019 and the exercise is being seen as a balancing act between his thrust on merit and demands of realpolitik.
“A process has been set in motion for the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan at around 10 am on Sunday,” a top government official said. While four junior ministers - Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sanjiv Kumar Balyan, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahendra Nath Pandey - had resigned on Thursday ahead of the rejig, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya is also learnt to have resigned on Friday. The party had asked them to quit. Two cabinet ministers, Uma Bharti and Kalraj Mishra, have also offered to resign, said BJP sources amid speculations that there may be a few more exits.
AIADMK leader Thambidurai had met Amit Shah on Thursday, and he, besides party leaders P Venugopal and V Maitreyan, may be the likely representatives from the Tamil Nadu party if it decides to join the government. JD(U) leaders RCP Singh and Santosh Kumar are the likely picks from the new NDA constituent. There are also talks of a greater representation from existing allies like the TDP and the Shiv Sena.