Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns amid reports of likely cabinet reshuffle

Senior Ministers Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Uma Bharti reportedly resigned from the Narendra Modi government on Thursday.

Mr Shah later met Prime Minister Modi at the latter's official residence 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.

Finance and corporate affairs minister Arun Jaitley was given the additional charge of defence, while Smriti Irani got the additional portfolio of information and broadcasting.

ANI reported sources as saying Rudy, who was minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship, would be given organisational work.

Sources said the Cabinet expansion and reshuffle is likely to happen on September 2 in the evening.

Janata Dal (United), which recently joined the ruling National Democratic Alliance, is likely to get a berth in the new Cabinet.

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Apart from holding talks with the PM on the Cabinet reshuffle, the BJP president met several party leaders, to strategies for the Gujarat Assembly polls where the party aims to win 150 out of the 182 Assembly seats and score the fifth consecutive victory.

News reports said the cabinet reshuffle is expected to come before Sunday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for a BRICS summit in China. He said on Thursday that he will not be occupying the Defence Minister post for long, hinting at the imminent reshuffle.

When Jaitley was asked how long he would have dual charge of the finance and defence ministries, he had replied: "At least, I hope, not very long".

The new Cabinet is also likely to see the JD (U)'s Ram Chandra Prasad SIngh and Santosh Kushwaha being included.

Rudy and Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh are two Rajput Ministers from Bihar. Science & Technology Minister Vardhan took over MoEF after the Anil Madhav Dave passed away.

Last week, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu too had offered to resign taking "full moral responsibility" for the recent train accidents. He is well above 75 years-the age bar the party has informally set for ministers.

  • Douglas Reid