Sunday, January 23, 2022

Union Cabinet expansion to take place at 6 pm today; Several ministers resign ahead of expansion

The Union Cabinet will be expanded this evening. President Ram Nath Kovind will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the newly inducted ministers at 6 PM. This will be the first expansion of the Narendra Modi government in the second tenure. The Union Cabinet, which can have 81 members, currently has 52 ministers.

Presently, many ministers are holding multiple portfolios. AIR Correspondent reports that the Cabinet expansion is taking place after several deliberations which saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding meetings with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President J P Nadda. The Prime Minister also assessed the performance of different ministries.

AIR Correspondent reports, the new Cabinet will witness record representation of OBC, SC and ST communities. Sources said, 27 OBC ministers including 5 with Cabinet rank, 12 ministers from scheduled caste communities and eight from scheduled tribes will be inducted in the cabinet. Women’s representation will also be increased in the expanded cabinet. Eleven women ministers will get ministerial berths. Five leaders of the minority community will also become the Ministers.

Besides, the new Cabinet will see the fine balance of young and experienced leaders. In the expanded cabinet, 14 ministers are below the age of 50 years including six cabinet ministers. There will be 46 leaders with experience of being ministers in the Central government and 23 who have been elected to the Parliament three or more times. Professionals with educational and functional experience will also get representation..

More leaders from poll bound Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh besides West Bengal and Maharashtra are also likely to be inducted. The names of former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia, Narayan Rane, Sushil Modi and others are being seen as probables in the new Cabinet. The faces from NDA ally JD(U), Apna Dal and LJP are also expected to be the part of the new cabinet.

Yesterday, ahead of the Cabinet expansion, the Central government created a new Ministry of Cooperation. Union Social Justice Minister Thawarchand Gehlot was elevated as Governor and several new Governors appointed and transferred.

Meanwhile, ahead of Cabinet expansion, several leaders reached Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence to meet him. They include BJP leaders Sarbananda Sonowal, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Narayan Rane, Meenakshi Lekhi, Nisith Pramanik and Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel, JDU leader RCP Singh and LJP leader Pashupati Paras. These leaders are being seen as the faces of the new Cabinet.

Union Ministers G Kishan Reddy, Kiren Rijiju, Anurag Thakur and Parshottam Rupala also met the Prime Minister. Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP President JP Nadda were also present  at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.

Ahead of Cabinet expansion, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and his junior colleague Sanjya Dhotre, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar and Minister of State for Woman and Child Development, Debasree Chaudhuri have resigned from their post. MoS, Environment Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Pratap Sarangi have also resigned.

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