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Cabinet reshuffle LIVE: Swearing in ceremony to begin at 10.30am at the Rashtrapati Bhawan

LiveMint logoLiveMint 03-09-2017 Livemint

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake a third revamp of the Union cabinet on Sunday to fill key vacancies and bring in new faces keeping in mind key state elections and eventually the 2019 General Elections. The swearing-in ceremony is going to be held at 10.30am today.

A cloud of uncertainty, however, hangs over the participation of the BJP allies like the JD(U) and Shiv Sena in the reshuffle, the third since the NDA came to power in 2014, and chances of the AIADMK joining the government also appeared slim.

More than half-a-dozen ministers are expected to make way for new faces in the reshuffle while portfolios of some ministers could be changed. The much awaited cabinet reshuffle today comes in the backdrop of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government drawing flak over the demonetization of high-value currency notes and India’s economic growth slowing to 5.7% in the June quarter, the slowest pace in three years.

Here are the latest updates and developments related to Narendra Modi government’s third cabinet rejig:

■ Nine new persons will be inducted in the Cabinet, including Satya Pal Singh and Shiv Pratap Shukla from Uttar Pradesh, Raj Kumar Singh and Ashwini Kumar Choubey from Bihar, Virendra Kumar from Madhya Pradesh, Anant Kumar Hegde from Karnataka, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat from Rajasthan, Alphons Kannanthanam from Kerala and former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Hardeep Puri. All nine faces are senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders. Read more

9 new ministers to be inducted into Narendra Modi’s Cabinet

■ The Cabinet expansion is likely to focus on poll-bound states of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Rajasthan. Interestingly, some of the likely ministers are expected from states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The two states, which account for 120 Lok Sabha seats, had helped the BJP come to power in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and are critical to its 2019 electoral plan.

■ Speculation that the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) would join the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance before Sunday’s cabinet reshuffle and expansion had reached a point when party president Sharad Pawar had to issue a clarification. Pawar told reporters in Pune that there was no truth in media reports that two MPs from the NCP would be made ministers in the Modi cabinet. Before Pawar cleared the air, his daughter and MP from Baramati, Supriya Sule had also re-positioned the NCP as an ally of the Congress rather than the BJP. Senior NCP leader and party’s Rajya Sabha MP Praful Patel also ruled out joining the NDA.

■ “There was no such talk of JD(U) joining the Union Cabinet. No talks were held on the issue (between the BJP and JD(U)),” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose party JD(U) recently rejoined the NDA, said in Patna. (PTI)

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