9 New Faces For 3rd And Final Union Cabinet Reshuffle Before 2019 Lok Sabha Polls

| September 3 , 2017 , 08:03 IST

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government prepares for its third and final union cabinet shuffle before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, with the induction of 9 new faces and several elevations for leaders having performed well in their respective fields.

The inductions are to include former foreign service officer Hardeep Puri, former IAS officer K J Alphons, Uttara Kannada MP Anantkumar Hegde, former home secretary and Arrah MP R K Singh, Jodhpur MP Gajendra Singh, former Mumbai police commissioner and Baghpat MP Satya Pal Singh, Rajya Sabha MP from UP Shiv Pratap Shukla, Buxar MP Ashwini Chaubey and Tikamgarh MP Virendra Kumar.

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Leaders Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Nirmala Sitharaman are expected to get full Cabinet status while Rajyavardhan Rathore and Jitendra Singh are like to get meatier assignments.

Despite reports that NDA's new ally Janata Dal (US) had also submitted nominees for the cabinet, the reshuffling is touted to be a BJP-only affair as including nominees from JD(U) would result in demands from other NDA allied parties like Shiv Sena and TDP for increased representation as they contribute more numbers to the centre.

The new inductions consist of a mix of various castes including 3 Brahmins, 2 Rajputs, 1 Dalit, 1 Jat, 1 Christian and 1 Sikh.

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MoS for information & broadcasting Rathore, and MoS in PMO Jitendra have impressed the leadership with their diligent and non-controversial style of functioning. Meanwhile, Pradhan has earned praise for the rollout of schemes like Pahal and Ujjwala, while Naqvi is said to have been a competent parliamentary affairs minister with an additional charge of minority affairs.

Considered to have done a competent job in implementing reforms in the coal and power sectors, Goyal might be replacing Suresh Prabhu in the Railways ministry.