Rudy, 4 other ministers resign ahead of reshuffle

Former Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy. | Express
Former Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy. | Express
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05 September, 2017

Minister of State for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Thursday resigned as a Union Minister, informed sources said.

Rudy told CNN-News18 that he was resigning to focus on "party organisation", but political analysts see it as a clear hint that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on the verge of shuffling his pack.

Water resources minister Uma Bharati has offered to quit on health grounds, while Mahendra Nath Pandey, who is the minister of state in the human resource development ministry, is set to leave after his appointment as the chief of BJP's Uttar Pradesh unit and in view of the one-man-one-post principle.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be leaving on September 3 for the BRICS summit and the government would like to finish the formalities before his trip.

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The five resignations came after India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah met senior ministers, including Finance and Defense Minister Arun Jaitley, at his residence in the national capital Thursday morning. He had said that the Prime Minister had asked him to "wait".

This move comes ahead of a possible Cabinet re-shuffle likely to be announced on September 2. Sources also said the Union Agriculture Minister and Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju may be shifted to different portfolios.

Ganga rejuvenation was the pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Balyan and his boss, Uma Bharti, seems to have not made any visible progress in it. India's almost Rs 20,000 crore plan to clean the holy Ganga river is badly behind schedule, with large stretches contaminated by toxic waste and sewage, forcing Modi to intervene. AIADMK, JD (U) ministers likely to be inducted. Junior Health Minister Faggan Singh Kulaste were also learnt to have been summoned by the BJP president.

The reshuffle is expected to fill crucial vacancies in the ministries of Defence, Environment, Urban Development and Information and Broadcasting which have been without full-time ministers for some time. Prabhu may be given the charge of the environment ministry. Karnataka would have assembly polls next year.


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