Delhi, July 28: The much-awaited expansion of the
Narendra Modi government may see around a dozen new
faces joining the government, sometime after the current
session of Parliament gets over on August 14.
exercise is likely to focus on giving fair
representation to the states and rewarding talent.
Modi's current team comprises 44 ministers - 22 of
cabinet rank and an equal number of ministers of state.
MP Jayant Sinha - son of former finance minister
Yashwant Sinha - could be made minister of state in the
Sitharaman may retain independent charge of the ministry
of commerce and industry and be relieved of the finance
general secretary JP Nadda is also among the
frontrunners for a ministerial seat. A Rajya Sabha MP
from Himachal Pradesh, Nadda recently lost to Amit Shah
in the race to become BJP president.
Prime Minister is expected to reshuffle the portfolios
of senior ministers to accommodate new faces and lessen
the burden of leaders looking after two or three
ministries, a source claimed. Prakash Javadekar,
Ravishankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal and a couple of others
are among those handling two or more ministries.
the possible newcomers, Ajmer MP Sanwar Lal Jat and
Rajya Sabha MP Bhupendra Yadav are favourites for the
two new ministerial positions Rajasthan may get.
Ganganagar MP Nihalchand is presently the sole
representative in Modi's council of ministers from the
state, where the BJP won all 25 Lok Sabha seats.
- another state that saw a BJP clean sweep in the
general elections -two former chief ministers are in the
fray for possible cabinet berths. Though Bhagat Singh
Koshiyari and Ramesh Pokhiryal Nishank are both in the
running, Ramdev - who supported the party in the Lok
Sabha polls -- is said to be backing Nishank.
MP Babul Supriyo is also banking on Ramdev's support to
shore up his ministerial prospects. Supriyo - one of the
two BJP MPs from West Bengal - has already admitted in a
vernacular newspaper that Ramdev's recommendation got
him the party ticket for the Lok Sabha polls.
Maharashtra, Chandrapur MP Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and
Ahmednagar MP Dilip Gandhi are seen as likely to fill
the cabinet vacancy created due to the death of Gopinath
ministerial berth may go to the Shiv Sena and Apna Dal,
BJP's allies in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh
respectively. Secundarabad MP Bandaru Dattatrey is also
a probable candidate from Telangana. (Courtesy: HT)