PM Modi's cabinet reshuffle will keep upcoming elections in mind

New Delhi: Whispers in the corridors of power are gaining momentum by each passing day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to go for a Cabinet reshuffle and expansion before 'Shradh' sets in. As the tradition goes, no important work is done in this period.  

The news of a reshuffle is doing the rounds since quite some time now. After senior minister M Venkaiah Naidu's elevation to the Vice President, two important portfolios were left vacant; that of Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development.  Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani was given additional charge of Information and Broadcasting and Rural Development Minister Narendra Tomar took over the Urban Development Ministry.

Already, two key ministries-- defence and environment--are without a full-time minister

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan are holding the additional charge of these two portfolios respectively

Sources in BJP are saying a reshuffle in the Union council of ministers is expected soon. It was expected to happen after the monsoon session of Parliament itself. The sources say that before 'Pitrapaksh' sets in the reshuffle will take place. The souces also add that some new faces could also be inducted into the Cabinet. With JD(U) joining NDA now, some important portfolios are expecetd to go to some senior JD(U) members as well. The porfolios will also be distributed keeping the Assembly as well as General Elections in mind. Senior political analysts also suggest that the General Election may take place in 2018 itself and thefore this reshuffling and expansion is strategically very important.

While Manohar Parrikar's move to Goa as its chief minister in March left the defence ministry without a full- time Cabinet minister, the death of Anil Dave in May caused a vacancy in the environment ministry

Prime Minister Modi first expanded his cabinet in November 2014 when he inducted 21 new faces, including Parrikar as defence minister

In July last year, Modi undertook another reshuffle in which he appointed Prakash Javadekar as the human resource development minister, replacing Smriti Irani, who was shifted to textiles.

News24Bureau