In his second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reshuffled his Council of Ministers only once in July 2021, whereas, in his first term, he had reshuffled and expanded his Council of Ministers three times.
New Delhi: The speculation about reshuffle in the Union Council of Ministers has intensified. If sources are to be believed, this change can happen any day before the budget session of Parliament. While on the one hand, in view of the strategy for the upcoming elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is busy preparing for its National Executive meeting.
This change is likely to happen due to the performance of ministers and the political exigencies of the ruling party. In his second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reshuffled his Council of Ministers only once in July 2021, whereas in his first term, he had reshuffled and expanded his Council of Ministers three times. While there is no official word yet, sources said the reshuffle could happen any day before the budget session of Parliament begins on January 31.
Probably the last reshuffle before the 2024 elections
BJP executive meeting is to be held in Delhi on January 16-17. There is a view that the lessons learned from the party's stupendous victory in the Gujarat Assembly elections and defeat in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly and Delhi Municipal Corporation elections could be reflected in the reshuffle. Along with this, there can be a reshuffle in this Council of Ministers according to the political needs in election states like Karnataka, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
This reshuffle will probably be the last one, as only 15 months are left for the Lok Sabha elections. In such a situation, emerging political equations in big states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana can also play a major role in the reshuffle.
Changes can also be brought in the organization
Similarly, there is talk that changes can be brought in the organization of the party as well. Changes in Modi's Council of Ministers have always been surprising, as sometimes ministers were dropped and people who were not even remotely thought of were made ministers.
Modi's cabinet reshuffle has also been in the limelight for changes in portfolios of existing ministers. Last time Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad were dropped from the cabinet, while former IAS officer Ashwini Vaishnav was included and given important portfolios like Railways and Information Technology.
Shinde faction may get a place in the cabinet
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had to lose his ministerial post after the last reshuffle. The posts have also become vacant due to the resignation of leaders from allies Janata Dal (United) and Shiv Sena who were ministers from the quota. Both the parties are currently in the opposition camp.
The reshuffle is likely to give representation to the Shiv Sena faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, which has the support of a majority of Shiv Sena MPs. There is also a view that the BJP may reward Chirag Paswan, who is seen as the political successor of his father and veteran Dalit leader from Bihar, Ram Vilas Paswan. Currently, his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras is a Union minister, having formed a breakaway faction with the support of five of the six MPs from the original party.