New Delhi: Keeping an eye on the pivotal 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very much ready to undertake the third major revamp of the Union Cabinet today with the induction of nine new ministers including two former bureaucrats, one retired diplomat and an ex-police official.
If sources are to be believed, the new faces include BJP MPs Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Bihar), Virendra Kumar (Madhya Pradesh) and Shiv Pratap Shukla (Uttar Pradesh).
The others include Anant Kumar Hegde, Raj Kumar Singh, Hardeep Puri, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Satyapal Singh and Alphons Kannanthanam.
According to the officials, the swearing-in ceremony will start at 10:30 am at Rashtrapati Bhawan. President Ram Nath Kovind will administer the oath of office and secrecy to all new ministers. PM Modi will meet his new ministers for breakfast ahead of their oath.
Initial signs are that the ministries of Railway and Defence are set to go into new hands, whose names are yet to be revealed. Also, a promotion to cabinet rank is likely for three ministers.
The reshuffle will be a BJP-only affair as an attempts in order to secure the involvement of Janata Dal (United) went fruitless. On the other hand, the possibility of the AIADMK joining the government also appeared slim as internal troubles in the party, which has been hit by a rebellion led by TTV Dhinakaran, is said to be a stumbling block in its decision to join the government.
Furthermore, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said that he has also received no information from the BJP about the reshuffle.