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Modi to reshuffle team in Sep; Scindia, Fadnavis in?

By R RAJAGOPALAN
June 05, 2020 12:38 IST
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The RSS wants three nominees inducted: Tejaswi Surya, the young BJP MP from Bengaluru South, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, a Rajya Sabha member, and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, reveals R Rajagopalan.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi chairs a meeting of the Union Cabinet, June 3, 2020. Photograph: Press Information Bureau

Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi plans to shuffle his council of ministers in early September and bring in new, younger faces, technocrats and public figures.

A few ministers will be sent packing, while the portfolios of some others may be reallocated.

While former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on March 11, is certain to be made a Union minister, it is learnt that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is pushing for three names: Tejaswi Surya, the young Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament from Bengaluru South, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, a Rajya Sabha member, and former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The exercise was originally slated to be carried out mid-year, after Modi 2's first anniversary, but was delayed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

With the monsoon session of Parliament all set to be convened on the fourth Monday of July, and concerned about presenting a dynamic image of his government, Modi is determined to go ahead with the reshuffle.

He has already conducted three rounds of parleys with his confidant, Home Minister Amit Anilchandra Shah, to to work out permutations and combinations of the exercise.

BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda is also in the loop, as the shakeup will extend to the BJP organisation as well.

Once Team Modi is finalised, Team Nadda will also fall in place.

Modi is keen to get new National Democratic Alliance nominees into his ministerial team, and among the names mentioned is Chirag Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party. His father, Ram Vilas Paswan, currently the Union minister for consumer affairs, turns 75 next year, and is expected to focus on the Bihar assembly election and state politics.

Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam's son and the MP from Theni, P Raveendranath Kumar, is expected to be the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam nominee.

The Janata Dal-United may also get a berth in the central ministry, given the Bihar assembly election that will follow in October or November.

The Biju Janata Dal may settle for the deputy speakership of the Lok Sabha, it is learnt, the post lying vacant since the 17th Lok Sabha was constituted last year.

Sources said there will be no change in the defence, home, finance and external affairs portfolios -- in other words the existing Cabinet Committee on Security will not be disturbed.

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R RAJAGOPALAN in New Delhi
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