Modi cabinet set for Sunday shuffle

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in China to attend BRICS Summit from September 3-5

Union Ministers Uma Bharati, Radha Mohan Singh, Giriraj Singh, Kalraj Mishra, Nirmala Sitharaman, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Sanjiv Baliyan have offered to quit to pave way for the Cabinet reshuffle, BJP sources said.

Speculations on who all would be part of PM Modi's team are on but going by the previous record, the prime minister may again surprise everyone with his decision.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was also heading the Defence Ministry following the resignation of Manohar Parrikar, is likely to be relieved of his additional charge.

Shah had met Modi on Thursday and the two leaders are understood to have finalised the changes in the council of ministers.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan are seen as good performers, and may be rewarded with an elevation in the reshuffle.

While Piyush Goyal now looks after the Power and Energy ministry, Dharmendra Pradhan has Petroleum ministry. Here is the list of ministers who resigned and those who offered to resign. However, Prabhu is likely to remain part of the Cabinet. JD (U) MP RCP Sinha may get the Railway Ministry if Suresh Prabhu is shifted out of it.

If AIADMK eventually decides to join the government, a strong possibility, P Venugopal and V Maitreyan, may be the likely faces of the southern party in the Cabinet.

After the recent return of the Janata Dal (United) into the ruling NDA fold, two names making the rounds are Bihar CM Nitish Kumar's confidante Ramchandra Singh and former state CM Karpoori Thakur's son Ramnath Thakur -either for the Cabinet or a Minister of State.

In the first meeting, also attended by another top BJP leader, a detailed presentation on outreach plans for the states headed for elections in the coming years was delivered. One of them is Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Kalraj Mishra, who is likely to be sent to Maharashtra.

He is well over 75, the age limit in the BJP for ministers.

According to media reports, Rudy and Balyan are expected to be given key organisational roles in the BJP in preparation for the 2019 elections. He thus needs to weed out the dead wood from the government and infuse new blood in the cabinet. The Prime Minister exhorted the officers to improve their work-culture, to incorporate both a "sense of urgency", and "measurability", in their performance and to fix clear targets to improve the country's tax administration by 2022.

There is a buzz that Modi might relieve health minister JP Nadda from his cabinet role and ask him to focus on the upcoming Himachal Pradesh elections-where he could be projected as the party's chief ministerial candidate to take on Congress' Virbhadra Singh.

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