Reshuffle today: 6 ministers to go out... 9 to come in
New Delhi: The Government made it almost certain late on Saturday night that six members of the Union council of ministers will be dropped and nine new faces inducted in the reshuffle carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday morning. Prominent among those to be sworn in as ministers are four of the country's most efficient and respected former bureaucrats — ex-Home Secretary Raj Kumar Singh, India's ex-Permanent Representative to the United Nations Hardeep Singh Puri, former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Satya Pal Singh and former IAS officer Alphons Kannanthanam, who distinguished himself considerably as Delhi Development Authority (DDA) Commissioner.
However, apart from the names of those who will exit and enter the Union ministry, there is considerable interest and speculation in the Capital about the allocation of portfolios. While Arun Jaitley, who holds Finance and Defence, has expressed his desire to be relieved of one of the "heavyweight" ministries, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has offered to resign, owning moral responsibility for the recent spate of train accidents.
The question is: Will the Prime Minister heed their pleas? Besides Narendra Singh Tomar holds both Urban Development and Social Justice and there is speculation that Modi may "lighten his burden".
However, one strong rumour that had been doing the rounds for several days — that BJP President and Modi's right hand man Amit Shah would be inducted into the Cabinet — was put to rest on Saturday. Basically, according to BJP and Government insiders, Modi will reinforce his team with the power of the 4Ps — Passion, Proficiency, Professional & Political acumen – for Progress. In continuance of his track record of identifying his fellow team members on the merit of their past performance and future potential, the new ministers have been selected by the Prime Minister with a clear mandate to deliver on his vision of a New India.
The new ministers will be strategically placed in key ministries, especially focusing on last mile delivery directly to the people. They will come from varied walks of life, bringing in their unique professional perspective and proficiency to the Council. All the ministers are highly qualified, with a number of them having professional as well as PhD degrees.
Meanwhile, the CBI issued a clarification on Saturday about a TV channel's story on a minister's alleged involvement in a case under investigation by it. "This news report is completely false, not based on facts, speculative and malicious. Further, the said channel did not approach the agency for verifying the alleged inputs before the story was aired. It is reiterated that in the light of professional ethics, the news channel should have checked the veracity of the inputs with Chief Information Officer, CBI (Spokesperson) before airing the story."