The reshuffling of Cabinet has reached the final leg with all the names of 9 candidates decided. These 9 candidates will be sworn-in as ministers today at 10 am, in a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Since yesterday morning, there were rumours about the names of possible candidates who could get the ministerial posts, however, by late evening, there was confirmation on most of the names.
The Indian Wire has not got the final list of the candidates who are going to be ministers in the central cabinet today. These names include some surprises and for sure, the government has tried to cover all aspects and geographies to play its last move of reshuffling possibly before the upcoming general elections in 2019.
The list of well-known names who are set to get the status of full cabinet ministers include Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Nirmala Sitharaman and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Along with that, there are rumours that Jitendra Singh and Rajyavardhan Rathore will get bigger assignments ahead of the upcoming elections in various states as well as in the centre.
The new additions to the cabinet will include the names of former IFS Hardeep Puri and former IAS KJ Alphonse. Both these officers are currently not elected representatives.
Other names includes the likes of Anantkumar Hegde (MP from Uttara Kannada), RK Singh (MP from Arrah and former home secretary), Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Member of Parliament from Jodhpur), Satya Pal Singh (Member of Parliament from Bagpat and former Mumbai Police Commissioner), Shiv Pratap Shukla (Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh), Ashwini Chaubey (Member of Parliament from Naxal-hit Buxar) and Virendra Kumar (Member of Parliament from Tikamgarh).
Since the time we got to first hear of the reshuffling, there were speculations that AIADMK and JD(U) will get their slots in the central cabinet. However, now, with the list almost decided, there seem very fewer possibilities of any such development. Yesterday, we had reported that JD(U) as well as AIADMK were unsure of their positions in the cabinet and had clarified that BJP leadership had not reached out to them yet to discuss their possible participation in the cabinet.
As always, BJP has thought on many grounds before finalising the list of the new cabinet ministers. Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan will be having elections before 2019 and the reshuffle has taken good care of that. Rajasthan and Karnataka both have their candidates in the new list. However, one surprising move was to omit any name from Gujarat and according to speculations, BJP will be trying to cash on the popularity of prime minister Narendra Modi in the Gujarat Assembly elections.
Bhartiya Janata Party has also tried its best to appease the cast based voters. The new list includes 3 brahmins, two Rajputs, One Christian, One Dalit, One Jat.