Reshuffle of Cabinet on Sunday, more exits imminent


An excel spreadsheet of the ministers and their rating was reportedly submitted to PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, and it was the reference point when decisions were taken on changes to the cabinet. Radha Mohan Singh has faced tremendous flak over the death of protesting farmers in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur, where the BJP lost a by-election to the Congress recently. While Jaitley has overseen the easing of a border stand-off with China, Modi can't afford to lose focus on security with his army chief warning that such encounters are likely to increase.

A top party source said there was "no deal' as such for a ministerial berth when it joined the NDA and the JD (U) was yet to get a call asking for nominations". Railways minister Suresh Prabhu, who had offered to resign in the wake of recent train accidents could be on his way out too. According to media reports, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi might be replaced by Rajiv Pratap Rudy as the former may get to join the Modi Cabinet. The excel sheet has the list of existing ministers of the Modi Cabinet, who have been marked P (indicating positive) and N (indicating negative) on the basis of their performance so far.

On Thursday, leaders of Opposition parties, including DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Communist Party of India leader D Raja met President Ram Nath Kovind and submitted a petition seeking a confidence vote. "He asked the officers to make efforts in this regard by designing a system for this category", an official statement from the Prime Minister's Office said. The total number of ministers in the council can not exceed 81.

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Top government sources told Zee Media, a special excel sheet created by a senior BJP leader contains all the names of ministers now a part of the government. Piyush Goel will replace Arun Jaitley as Finance Minister. However, while he is expected to fill several vacant seats, the prime minister is likely to keep some slots vacant in case inductions from the AIADMK and NCP have to be made in the near future.

The ruling party is likely to follow "one man, one post" theory. Similarly, some ministers of state with independent charge-like Dr Jitendra Singh and Prakash Javadekar-may also be elevated to a cabinet rank.