New cabinet to hold record of SC, ST, OBC; more women; Announcement tomorrow at 6

Top government sources said the upcoming council of ministers is set to focus on marginalized sections with record representation of scheduled caste communities. CNN-News18 on Tuesday. Sources said the cabinet reshuffle will take place at 6 pm on Wednesday.

Top sources related to this matter said that special attention will be given to whose representation in the upcoming Council of Ministers. ‘Sohit, Pidit, Deprived and Adivasi’ (minority and tribal communities).

He said the council would also look into the record representation of scheduled caste communities, and about 24 ministers belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) would also be included. The government plans to provide representation to even the smallest communities, focusing on each state and their respective regions.

Sources said the representation of women in the council would also be increased and the average age of leaders would be the lowest in the history of independent India. Sources said that special attention will be given to include people having administrative experience in the state or at the Centre.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with top ministers as well as the BJP chief at his residence at 5 pm on Tuesday – amid growing talk of a cabinet reshuffle later in the week – was earlier cancelled. Home Minister Amit Shah, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, BJP chief JP Nadda and party’s national general secretary BL Santosh were expected to attend the meeting along with others.

In a series of talks that took place in the first fortnight of June, PM Modi was asked to focus on the performance of the ministries, which had wreaked havoc in its second wave across the country, given the enormous challenge of Covid-19. The meetings lasted anywhere between three and five hours, with both the cabinet as well as ministers of state being asked to attend. On June 5, Modi spoke to BJP morcha chiefs including farmers, youth, SC/ST and women. A day later he met party general secretaries.

Ever since the Modi government came to power in May 2019, there has been no expansion in the Union Cabinet, with some ministers heading three cabinet portfolios while some ministries do not have MoS. With the withdrawal of Akali Dal from NDA, the Modi government currently has only BJP ministers.

Political pundits have also indicated that the JD(U), a key ally of the BJP in Bihar, would like to be represented in the ministry. Jyotiraditya Scindia, who joined BJP in March 2019, is waiting to be given a ministerial post even after giving results in Madhya Pradesh. Sarbananda Sonowal who was replaced by Himanta Biswa Sarma as the Chief Minister of Assam is also likely to be inducted into the cabinet as Sushil Modi, the former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar.

With assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Goa, Manipur, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh being held next year, the BJP is looking to add more votes to its bag. The focus has been on several castes and groups in the central and state cabinets that are underrepresented or underrepresented. Hence some faces from western UP, some non-represented castes or groups etc. are likely to be given prominent positions in Delhi and even in Uttar Pradesh.

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