Cabinet Rejig: Will Those Above 75 Years of Age be Axed?

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his ministers and reviewed important ministry projects.

2 min read
Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. (Photo: AP)

Amid speculation that he may reshuffle his ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his ministers and reviewed important projects on Thursday, official sources quoted by IANS said.

Modi’s meeting with his council of ministers comes a day after he met Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at his residence.

After the Wednesday meeting, speculation mounted that Modi, who became the Prime Minister in May 2014, may carry out his first major ministerial reshuffle.

The sources said union ministers were likely to have to make presentations on the performance of their ministries to Modi on Thursday.

Demotions Likely?

As part of the reshuffle, some state ministers are likely to be elevated to cabinet rank, including Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan, reports suggest.

A few vacancies are likely to be filled, including that created by Sarabananda Sonowal, who was made Chief Minister of Assam. Junior ministers will be added for Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh – the three states headed for elections.

Law Minister Sadananda Gowda is likely to face a demotion.

Will Those Above 75 be Axed From the Cabinet?

BJP’s decision to drop two ministers from the Madhya Pradesh government on grounds that they have crossed 75 years of age has triggered speculation that such a yardstick could be applied in the much-talked about Union Cabinet reshuffle that is likely to take place soon.

Union Minister Najma Heptulla turned 75 in April last year and her colleague Kalraj Mishra turns 75 tomorrow. Though the party has never put the age rule on record, it was widely believed to have been the reason why senior leaders like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were co-opted into the “margadarshak mandal” (guiding group) and kept out of the Cabinet.

With the UP assembly polls scheduled for early next year, some party leaders believe that Mishra, a well-known Brahmin face from the state, may be retained.

States like UP and Assam are likely to get more representation in the Council of Ministers while some ministers of state may be promoted, sources said.

Going by its rule to have 25 percent new faces in the national executive, the decision-making body will see fresh faces or those who did not find place in Shah’s team after he took charge for the first time in 2014.

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