Union ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal, Santosh Gangwar quit hours ahead of cabinet rejig
The political turmoil in Delhi continues ahead of a major change in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union cabinet, which is slated to take place at 6pm on Wednesday. While a few veteran leaders bid farewell to the cabinet, new leaders are likely to step in to take their places. Hours ahead of the cabinet rejig, Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank stepped down from the cabinet, citing health reasons.
Ramesh Pokhriyal officially cited his ill health as the reason behind his resignation from the Union cabinet. The minister had recently taken ill of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Not just Ramesh Pokhriyal, Union labour minister Santosh Gangwar also confirmed to Hindustan Times that he has resigned from the cabinet. He, however, told HT that he cannot discuss the reason behind his resignation.
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Moreover, reports said that Union ministers Debashree Chaudhuri and Sadananda Gowda are also likely to resign from the cabinet ahead of the cabinet reshuffle, the first one since Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed his charges for the second term.
The much-awaited expansion comes close on the heels of the completion of the Modi government’s seven years in office. According to officials familiar with the development, as many as 43 leaders may take their oaths as ministers on Wednesday. Several BJP leaders, such as Jyotiraditya Scindia, Parshottam Rupala, and Anupriya Patel were on this day seen leaving 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, along with Union home ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Kiren Rijiju and BJP president JP Nadda, with several others.
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The initial speculation has predicted the changes in the Union cabinet as a "major shakeup" in the government as the prime minister looks to make it more representative with on political and governance challenges. The council is expected to have more representation of women and those from the Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Other Backward Classes (OBC), and the Dalit communities.