Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns as Union Minister

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Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns as Union Minister

Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigned as Skill Development Minister on Thursday evening, further fuelling speculation that a reshuffle of the Union Cabinet may be around the corner.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped six ministers from his council of ministers in the latest reshuffle on Sunday.

Sources have told CNN-News18 that Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti has offered to resign on health grounds, while cabinet colleague Sanjeev Balyan and MoS Health Fagan Singh Kulsate have also reportedly offered to put in their papers.

Jaitley has held the defence and finance portfolios both after Manohar Parrikar quit as the defence minister to return to Goa as chief minister.

The appointment of Union Minister of State Mahendra Nath Pandey as the next BJP chief of Uttar Pradesh lent greater impetus to an imminent Cabinet reshuffle that may take place on Saturday, a day ahead of Modi's depature on a two-nation visit to China and Myanmar from September 3 to 6.

The reshuffle could see the entry of Janata Dal-United (JD-U) nominees into the ministry, with the party striking an alliance with the BJP in Bihar recently. Yet trips made by Union ministers such as Kalraj Mishra and Dharmendra Pradhan to Shah's residence only added more grist to the mill. A party leader played it down, saying Shah meets Modi regularly and also pointed out that the meeting comes a day ahead of the beginning of a three-day meeting of the RSS and its allied organisations in Vrindavan. Kalraj Mishra, who is past the unofficial age ceiling of 75 years to serve in the government, is tipped to be headed for a gubernatorial assignment.

"At least not for very long", Jaitley said in response to questions on how long he would continue as Defence Minister. However, reports state that Bharti's resignation has not been accepted by the Prime Minister.

Last week, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu too had offered to resign taking "full moral responsibility" for the recent train accidents.

Harsh Vardhan, who is heading the Ministry of Science and Technology, was charged to head the Ministry of Environment following the demise of Anil Madhav Dave in May.

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