The Modi Cabinet may be expanded soon. This reshuffle will be done keeping in mind the Lok Sabha elections to be held in 2024 and the Assembly elections in some states next year.
The exercise for the much-awaited expansion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet has begun. If top party sources are to be believed, the PM has also decided the names of possible ministers in several rounds of talks with Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J.P. Nadda. In the Cabinet expansion, PM Modi is expected to give more representation to states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Goa where elections are to be held next year. The expansion will also showcase the preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Along with the Cabinet expansion, there will be a reshuffle in the BJP organisation as well. Some party leaders will get a place in the Modi Cabinet, while a few Union ministers can be given responsibility in the BJP organisation.
Governors are also to be appointed in about half-a-dozen states. List of ministers, reshuffle in BJP organisation and appointment of governors are likely to be done simultaneously.
Jyotiraditya Scindia may be included after the Cabinet expansion. His departure from the Congress helped the BJP return to power in Madhya Pradesh last year. Apart from him, Sarbananda Sonowal can also get a chance. In Assam, when Hemant Biswa Sarma was made the Chief Minister, he was promised a Central portfolio.
Among the BJP leaders who can be made ministers in the Modi government are Ajay Bhatt or Anil Baluni from Uttarakhand. Pratap Sinha from Karnataka, Jagannath Sarkar, Shantanu Thakur or Nisith Pramanik from West Bengal. Brijendra Singh from Haryana, Rahul Kaswan from Rajasthan, Vijayant Jai Panda from Odisha. The name of Pravesh Verma and Meenakshi Lekhi from Delhi can also be in this list. Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Maharashtra’s leader Narayan Rane and Bhupendra Yadav can get a place in the Modi Cabinet. Apart from these, Varun Gandhi, Ramshankar Katheria, Anil Jain, Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Apna Dal’s Anupriya Patel can also be made ministers in view of the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
After the split of Lok Janshakti Party, now the claim of Pashupati Paras is stronger in place of Chirag Paswan.
The Janata Dal-U is expecting at least two ministries. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has demanded two cabinet and one minister of state post in a conversation with PM Modi. Lallan Singh, Ramnath Thakur and Santosh Kushwaha from the JD-U are in the race.
The Union Cabinet can have 81 members and currently there are 53 ministers. This means 28 ministers can be added.