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Cabinet reshuffle: new allies, performance assessment trigger changes.

Cabinet reshuffle: new allies, performance assessment trigger changes.

Johnson Cherian.
A reshuffle of the Union Cabinet, said to be the last for this government, has been scheduled for Sunday morning. Four Ministers handed in their resignations on Thursday afternoon to pave the way for the swearing-in of their replacements.
Minister for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of State for Agriculture Faggan Singh Kulaste and Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjiv Balyan put in their papers to BJP chief Amit Shah in the presence of party general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal. These would be forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The reshuffle is taking place in the background of the Janata Dal (U) rejoining the National Democratic Alliance, and the talk of inclusion of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). In fact, sources say the confusion in the AIADMK ranks is responsible for shifting the reshuffle from Saturday evening to Sunday morning.
“The JD(U) has most likely nominated R.C.P Singh and Santosh Kumar Kushwaha, but the real issue is the AIADMK, whether they can nominate one candidate each from either of the two former factions,” said a source.
The exclusion of certain Ministers was on the basis of a regular assessment made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, the sources added. “An excel sheet for assessment was prepared,” said one of themthe source.
Among those tipped to be included are Karnataka MPs Prahlad Joshi, either Suresh Angadi or Shivkumar Udasi; either of the father-son duo of Prem Kumar Dhumal; Anurag Thakur; and BJP MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe.
With the date fixed for the reshuffle, the next two days will see heavy political activity around who could make it and, more importantly, whether important portfolios like Defence, Environment, Information and Broadcasting, and Rural Development will be handed over to a single person.
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