Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to reshuffle his cabinet on Tuesday with poll-bound states expected to get representation in the council of ministers, sources told HT.
The top four portfolios—home, finance, external affairs and defence—are unlikely to be touched but the long-awaited exercise might see the induction of leaders from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab, all of which go to the polls next year.
Minority affairs minister Najma Heptullah might be dropped from the cabinet and replaced by her junior minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath and Apna Dal parliamentarian Anupriya Patel are among the contenders for a ministerial berth among leaders from the UP – where the BJP is going all out to regain power after a decade.
Over the past week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held consultations on the cabinet reshuffle with senior party colleagues including BJP chief Amit Shah, home minister Rajnath Singh and finance minister Arun Jaitley.
Youth and sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal has become the Assam chief minister, creating a vacancy in the council of ministers.
Sources said BJP parliamentarian Ramen Deka is in the contention for a ministerial slot from the Northeast.
A formal communication for the reshuffle will be sent to the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday. “24 hours notice is enough for us to prepare for the swearing-in ceremony,” said a senior official of the President’s office.
Modi has had three rounds of meetings with his council of ministers to take a stock of their performance in terms of implementing cabinet decisions and other government policies.
On Tuesday, it will become clear if he has cracked the whip on non-performing members of his cabinet.