Cabinet re-shuffle in a fortnight: Difficult decisions await Modi-Shah duo
The last cabinet reshuffle before the 2019 elections would most likely happen in a fortnight. Its timing is crucial as the cabinet lost ministers like Venkaiah Naidu and Manohar Parrikar to other posts. The cabinet's bench strength was already less, so ministers like Arun Jaitley and Smriti Irani became in-charge of plum ministries. It appears that the Modi-Shah duo has to make some tough decisions.
PM Narendra Modi's cabinet comprised 45 members when it came to power in 2014. Since then, he has reshuffled and expanded the cabinet twice: in November 2014 and in July 2016. This new reshuffle will give the new ministers a year to prove their prowess.
Who might get what?
NDA's new joinee JD(U) and possible joinee AIADMK will need to be accommodated. Maharashtra CM Fadnavis may be headed to Centre; also, based on a performance analysis, there is a possibility of other CMs of BJP-ruled states moving to the Centre. Modi may also induct new faces from poll-bound states. A surprise could be NCP, whose relations with Congress have soured after RS elections.
Ministries that should expect new bosses
Suresh Prabhu, facing criticism for failure to check safety of Indian railways, might be removed from the ministry. Modi may decide to place all transportation under Nitin Gadkari who has shown promise in shipping and highways. The Agriculture Ministry and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship might get new ministers to head them. Assuring Modi of her health, Sushma may retain her position.
Strategy for 2019
Modi's main expectation from ministers is that they deliver. Finding such leaders is difficult. He does not believe in moving portfolios, so making the right decision is crucial. Until now, he has only moved Smriti Irani from HRD. Modi might want to provide better representation to women and youngsters in his cabinet. He has known to surprise, let's see how this reshuffle unfolds.