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06 September 2017, 09:27 | Gerardo Harmon
Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns amid reports of likely cabinet reshuffle
As a precursor to the mega exercise, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sanjeev Balyan, and Faggan Singh Kulaste resigned from the Council of Ministers on Thursday.
Rudy's resignation comes ahead of an expected Cabinet reshuffle.
Textiles Minister Smriti Irani is holding additional charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, while Rural Development Minister Narendra Tomar has additional charge of the Urban Development Ministry, after Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu resigned from his ministerial responsibilities to take up the high office.
The Prime Minister is set to leave for the BRICS Summit in China on Sunday and sources suggest he will seek a change of faces before that in possibly the last major rejig before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
According to TV reports, Union Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to give up the defence portfolio, which he was heading after the resignation of Manohar Parrikar in March.
Sources said the Cabinet expansion and reshuffle is likely to happen on September 2 in the evening.
The reshuffle could see the entry of Janata Dal-United (JD-U) nominees into the ministry, with the party striking an alliance with the BJP in Bihar recently.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu was among the probables to be removed from the Cabinet, considering the resignation offered by him following the back-toback train derailment incidents in UP's Muzaffarnagar and Auriya districts. Earlier in the day, BJP president Amit Shah conducted meeting with PM Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders to discuss portfolios.
Uma Bharti is also being dropped from the Cabinet, allegedly for her lack of performance.
When Jaitley was asked how long he would have dual charge of the finance and defence ministries, he had replied: "At least, I hope, not very long". However, reports state that Bharti's resignation has not been accepted by the Prime Minister.
Skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy. Science & Technology Minister Vardhan took over MoEF after the Anil Madhav Dave passed away.
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