Minutes after the news of India’s GDP considerably slowing down to three-year low hit the headlines, several cabinet ministers in the central government reportedly resigned ahead of a scheduled cabinet reshuffle.
Those already offered to resign are Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Uma Bharti, Radhamohan Singh, Sanjeev Balyan and Giriraj Singh. There are also reports that Nirmala Sitharaman too will quit. This came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP chief, Amit Shah, met in Delhi on Thursday night.
Other media reports suggested that more ministers may resign to make way for new faces, particularly from the JD(U) and AIADMK, into his council of ministers.
Rudy, who was holding the portfolio of skill development and entrepreneurship and represents Bihar’s Saran Lok Sabha constituency, is expected to be given an organisational assignment in the BJP, news agency PTI quoted party sources.
Another minister, Kalraj Mishra, who had met Shah on Thursday morning, may also resign. He is well above 75 years, the age bar the party has informally set for ministers.
Earlier in the day, Union minister Mahendra Nath Pandey was appointed Uttar Pradesh BJP president in place of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, creating one more vacancy in the Council of Ministers.
The reshuffle may take place before Modi departs for China to attend the BRICS summit.
AIADMKs Thambi Durai and K Venugopal are being seen as among likely representatives of their party in the Cabinet if the Tamil Nadu party joins the Modi government. At least two members of the JD(U) are also likely to join.
There are several vacancies in the government while some senior ministers, including Arun Jaitley and Harsh Vardhan, are holding additional portfolios.
The president is scheduled to leave for Tirupati tomorrow. As of now nothing has been communicated to Rashtrapati Bhawan, as per sources.