Uma Bharti, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, 2 others quit govt; more likely to follow

Gajapati Raju & Radha Mohan Singh likely to be shifted; Nitin Gadkari might get a bigger role in Team Modi; Kalraj tipped for governor.

New Delhi: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi all set to go in for a major Cabinet reshuffle and expansion, three ministers are reported to have been asked to step down, while some more are likely to go.

The ministers who have so far resigned include Rajiv Pratap Rudy, minister of state for skill development, Mahendra Lal Pandey, HRD minister of state, and Sanjiv Baliyan, MoS for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation.

Speculation was rife that several others, including Nirmala Sitharaman, Chowdhury Birendra Singh, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Kalraj Mishra, would also go. Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh are also to be shifted.

Shah meets ministers, PM amid rejig reports

In a late-night development, water resources minister Uma Bharti also resigned from the Cabinet on Thursday.

Kalraj Mishra and Sanjiv Balyan also met Shah, who later called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The election in Gujarat is due at the end of this year and the party will soon launch its poll slogan “Garaje Gujarat”.

President Ram Nath Kovind, who will be on a two-day visit to Tirupati Tirumala from September 1, will be back by Saturday afternoon. Also, Modi is due to leave for the Brics summit in China early Sunday.

Shah, it is learnt, is also due to participate in the Sangh Parivar affiliates’ meeting in Mathura on Saturday evening, where the RSS’ top brass, including its chief Mohan Bhagwat, will be present. The three-day Sangh coordination meeting is beginning from September 1.

The BJP also named HRD minister of state Mahendra Nath Pandey as Keshav Prasad Maurya’s successor as the chief of its Uttar Pradesh unit. Maurya is a part of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s Cabinet and one of the state’s two deputy chief ministers. Maurya, along with the UP CM and three other ministers, will contest the polls for the Legislative Council. Pandey, 59, is an MP from Chandauli and a brahmin.

During the strategy meeting on the Gujarat elections, besides Jaitley, the election co-incharges, including Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Jitendra Singh, P.P. Chaudhury, state incharge Bhupendra Yadav and state unit chief Jitu Vaghani were also present. The party has set a target of “Mission 150” for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly. BJP general secretary (organisation) Ramlal also joined the meeting later

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