Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns from Cabinet ahead of expected reshuffle

Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns from Cabinet ahead of expected reshuffle

Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns from Cabinet ahead of expected reshuffle

A key goal is to free up some ministers for the all-important task of winning elections.

Minister of State for HRD Mahendra Nath Pandey has resigned from his post.

It is understood that he would now turn to organisational matters and try to build popular support for the saffron party in the Northeastern state.

The newly appointed chief of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP and Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Mahendra Pandey, has also offered to step down. However, confirmation was awaited.

Earlier in the day, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah, along with General Secretary (Organisation) Ram Lal, met more than half-a-dozen union ministers at his residence and is believed to have sought their resignations, saying their services would be utilised in the party organisation. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Jaitley. However, sources said the AIADMK's entry might be delayed till the problems in the party were resolved.

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Also, Smriti Irani, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ananth Kumar and Ravi Shankar Prasad are holding two or more portfolios. She is also heading the Textile Ministry, which she was awarded after the Cabinet rejig in 2016.

Currently, there are three vacancies in the Council of Ministers arising out of the exit of Manohar Parrikar and M Venkaiah Naidu from the Government and the passing away of Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave.

There is speculation whether some ministers will shed additional portfolios and if railway minister Suresh Prabhu will retain his position after two back-to-back derailments, killing at least 20 people, led him to take responsibility and offer to quit.

The latest reshuffle will be the third after Modi came to power in 2014. He is well above 75 years, the age bar the party has informally set for ministers. In case of them joining the BJP-led camp, they are likely to be offered a berth in the Cabinet. Karnataka will go for assembly polls next year. Junior Health Minister Faggan Singh Kulaste were also learnt to have been summoned by the BJP president.

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