One can not be sure if finance minister Arun Jaitley, who has been having the additional portfolio of defence ministry since the exit of Manohar Parrikar several months ago, will be shedding the defence portfolio.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged tax officers to design a goods and service tax (GST) registration system for traders with less than Rs20 lakh of sales a year who might want to avail of the benefits of the new indirect tax system, although it is not a statutory requirement for them.
Since yesterday, five Union ministers Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Kalraj Mishra, Sanjeev Balyan and Mahendra Nath Pandey have submitted their resignations. While Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has offered to resign, PM Modi has asked him to wait.
A clear picture is expected to emerge on Sunday (September 3) when the reshuffle is expected to take place.
There were feelers coming her way for long that her ministry has to deliver. Modi is also seeking to improve governance before he seeks re-election in 2019.
An excel sheet was prepared of the ministers classified as "positive" and "negative" based on their work, which was submitted to the Prime Minister and BJP national president Amit Shah. This cabinet reshuffle could be an occasion for Modi to give a message to the nation that he cares for performance and merit. Last month Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu also resigned to become the vice-president. Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and RSS leadership have already assessed the Union Ministers. At least two members of the JD (U) are also likely to join. JDU's RCP Singh, who is its parliamentary party leader in the Rajya Sabha, and Santosh Kumar may be inducted as ministers. Mishra is well above 75 years, the age bar the party has informally set for ministers.
But the seats are limited as the current strength of the council of ministers, including the prime minister, is 73 and the maximum number can not go beyond 81. However, the recent deaths of children due to encephalitis and other diseases across states may have prompted Modi to place more experienced hands in the ministry. However, while he is expected to fill several vacant seats, the prime minister is likely to keep some slots vacant in case inductions from the AIADMK and NCP have to be made in the near future.
"This is a decision by the Prime Minister, the government and the party and we are the soldiers of the party". These include, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha and Minister- Development of North Eastern Region- Jitendra Singh.