New Delhi, July 06: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-awaited cabinet reshuffle likely to happen tomorrow evening. The new cabinet is expected to be the youngest ever in India’s history, as the prime minister may go for new faces with an eye on grooming younger leaders while also factoring in caste and regional balances. If the prime minister goes ahead with the exercise, he will be expanding his Council of Ministers for the first time since assuming the charge in May 2019 for his second innings
Ministerial probably Sarbananda Sonowal, the former Assam chief minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Sushil Modi have emerged as frontrunners for the cabinet post. States that are likely to go to the assembly polls early next year, including the all-important Uttar Pradesh, may figure high. West Bengal may also see its representation in the Union Council of Ministers go up. It is believed that the BJP’s allies like JD(U) and Apna Dal can also get representation. Presently, Republican Party leader Ramdas Athawale, a junior minister, is the only ally in the government after-parties like the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal severed ties with the BJP. Lok Janshakti Party founder Ram Vilas Paswan, a Cabinet minister, had died last year and all eyes are on whether his brother Pashupati Kumar Paras will be part of the expansion.
Paras is engaged in a bitter battle with Paswan’s son Chirag Paswan for the control of the party and has been recognised as the LJP leader in Lok Sabha after five of its six MPs lent their support to him. The current strength of the Council of Ministers is 53, besides Modi, and its maximum number can be 81.