Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to announce the exansion of his Cabinet at 6 pm. The names of new ministers are doing the rounds and the reshuffle is reportedly based on a performance review that the PM took up.
However, the larger objective of Cabinet reshuffle also seems to be the electoral considerations; the PM and his team are preparing ground for the assembly elections to the 7 states in the coming years which, in turn, would lay the foundations for the LOk Sabha elections due in 2024.
The reshuffle is also aimed at improving the administrative capabilities and the overall image of the Union Government as there has been a visible and massive governance failure. For instance, the government’s overall handling of the COVID situation and deaths in Delhi due to mismanagement of medical Oxygen supplies.
If the list doing the round is to be believed, 7 places may go to UP, 5 to Gujarat and 4 to West Bengal. Of these three, the first two are facing elections next year. If the ‘leaks’ to the media were to be considered, the Prime Minister is going to make it one of the youngest cabinets by including new talents which would include technocrats.
The cabinet size can go up to 81. Till this morning, there were 53 ministers and therefore the vacancy was 28. But following the resignation of nearly two dozen ministers by this afternoon there is a possibility that nearly 50 places will be filled. According to the ‘list of probables’ circulating in media, there are 43 names that have already been finalised.
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