At least eight ministers – Uma Bharti, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sanjeev Balyan and Faggan Singh Kulaste, Kalraj Mishra, Bandaru Dattareya and two others – have resigned since late Thursday night, and sources said more resignations are expected to make way for new faces, including at least two members from the BJP’s latest ally, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United).
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.
Shah had met Modi on Thursday and the two leaders are understood to have finalised the changes in the council of ministers.
Arun Jaitley, who currently holds the charge of two heavyweight portfolios — finance and defence, may retain only one, sources said.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who had taken moral responsibility for a string of train accidents and indicated his willingness to resign, may be moved to another ministry, the sources said.