Rudy, 4 other ministers resign ahead of reshuffle

Skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Singh Rudy resigned on August 31

Small and medium enterprises minister Kalraj Mishra, water resources and Ganga rejuvenation minister Uma Bharti, skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, minister of state for human resource development Mahendra Nath Pandey and minister of state for water resources Sanjiv Baliyan have quit the government. This points to a largescale rejig, with the reshuffle likely to take place on Saturday.

However, the faction-ridden AIADMK is not likely to be invited to join the Cabinet.

While Nirmala Sitharaman said that the eight ministers meet with BJP chief Amit Singh were regarding BJP polls, resignations after that meet defer his words.

Bharti, who is the water resources minister, said only Shah or anyone on his behalf can speak on the issue.

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Meanwhile, Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu has also offered to exit from the government after a series of rail mishaps more than a week ago and had said that the Prime Minister had asked him to "wait".

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is already holding charge of the Defence Ministry after Manohar Parrikar resigned to become Goa Chief Minister. While there was no official word about their meeting, it was believed in the party circles that the Cabinet reshuffle and political re-assignment of Union Ministers were discussed.

He said he would work to further strengthen the BJP in western UP.

Existing ministers Dharmendra Pradhan (petroleum) and Piyush Goyal (power), who have independent charge of their respective ministries, may be elevated to Cabinet positions.

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After meeting Shah earlier in the day, Jaitley suggested that he may not hold charge of the Defence Ministry for long.

Textiles Minister Smriti Irani is holding additional charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry portfolio, while Rural Development Minister Narendra Tomar has additional charge of the Urban Development Ministry after Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu resigned from his ministerial responsibilities to take up the high office.

Some election-bound states, including Congress-ruled Karnataka, could get greater representation in the council of ministers. The Assembly polls are slated for later this year.

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