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Meet the 9 Men Likely to Join Team Modi in Sunday’s Cabinet Reshuffle

Sources said that the names have been chosen keeping in mind the PM’s mission of a ‘New India’ and have been identified based on their track record and potential.


Updated:September 3, 2017, 12:11 AM IST
Meet the 9 Men Likely to Join Team Modi in Sunday’s Cabinet Reshuffle
File photo of PM Narendra Modi (left) and BJP chief Amit Shah.

New Delhi: At least nine new ministers will join the Council of Ministers as part of a major revamp ahead of the 2019 elections on Sunday, sources have told News18. The list of names that emerged after the BJP top brass went into a huddle on Saturday evening shows that the party has tried to strike a balance between its political compulsions and governance agenda.

However, a surprise was the absence of any member of the BJP's allies such as the JD(U) and the Shiv Sena from the list. Though top BJP leaders maintained silence on the development, sources in the party said the JD(U) and the Shiv Sena not figuring in the list was likely due to lack of a formula for representation which could satisfy all allies.

Sources said that the names have been chosen keeping in mind the PM’s mission of a ‘New India’ and have been identified based on their track record and potential.

The swearing-in ceremony for the new entrants to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet will be held at 10:30 am, sources said. They, however, did not clarify whether any of the new ministers would be given a Cabinet berth or what portfolio they would hold. There are also no women in the list.

Here is the list of the nine likely new ministers in the Narendra Modi-led council of ministers:

Shiv Pratap Shukla

Shiv Pratap Shukla is a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development. Shukla was elected a Member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly for 4 consecutive times in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1996. He served as a Cabinet Minister in the UP government for 8 years, and is known for his work in Rural Development, Education and Prison reform during his tenure.

A Law Graduate from Gorakhpur University, Shukla started off early in politics as a student leader in the 1970s. He was imprisoned for 19 months under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the Emergency.

Ashwini Kumar Choubey

Ashwini Kumar Choubey is a Lok Sabha MP from Buxar, Bihar. He is member of the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates and Standing Committee on Energy. Choubey has been elected for 5 consecutive terms to the Bihar Legislative Assembly. He has held important portfolios including Health, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering as a Cabinet Minister of the Government of Bihar for 8 years.

Choubey played an active part in the JP movement in the 1970s. He is also credited to have raised the slogan "Ghar - Ghar me ho Shouchalaya ka nirman, Tabhi hoga Ladli Bitiya ka Kanyadaan", and has helped construct 11,000 toilets for Mahadalit families.

Virendra Kumar

Virendra Kumar is a Lok Sabha MP from Tikamgah, Madhya Pradesh. A six-term Lok Sabha MP, Kumar is the chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour, and has been Chairman of the Joint Committee on Office of Profit and a Member of National Social Security Board.

Kumar had actively participated in the JP movement of the 1970s, and went to jails for 16 months under MISA during the Emergency. Highly qualified academically, Kumar has an MA in Economics and a PhD in Child Labour.

Anant Kumar Hegde

Ananth Kumar Hedge, a Brahmin from Uttar Kannada is a five-time MP. The 47-year-old is a surprise choice just before the elections as he will be the second Brahmin from Karnataka in the Cabinet if sworn-in, the other being parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar. Hegde is currently a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs and Human Resource Development.

Raj Kumar Singh

Raj Kumar Singh is a Lok Sabha MP from Arrah, Bihar. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committees on Health and Family Welfare, Personnel, Pensions and Public Grievances and Law & Justice.

A former IAS officer of the 1975 batch, Singh rose up the ranks to become the home secretary of India. He served in multiple important roles of responsibility including Defence Production Secretary and Joint Secretary Home; as well as heading Home, Industries, Public Works and Agriculture amongst other departments in the Bihar Government. He is known for his contributions to schemes for Police Modernization and Prison Modernization, and laying down a framework for Disaster Management.

Hardeep Singh Puri

Hardeep Puri is a decorated former IFS officer of the 1974 batch, known for his experience and expertise in foreign policy and national security. He is the President and Chairman of Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) think tank, and was the Vice President of International Peace Institute, New York.

Puri’s distinguished four-decade career in diplomacy spanning the multilateral arena, included critical roles of Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Ambassador to Brazil and the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative of India to Geneva. As head of the Indian Delegation to the UN Security Council, Hardeep Puri had served as Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the UN as well as President of the United Nations Security Council.

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is a Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and Chairperson of the Fellowship Committee. The addition of Vasundhara Raje’s close aide Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, if it goes through, will mark a thaw in relations between the Rajasthan Chief Minister and the BJP leadership in Delhi. His appointment is also a political move to neutralise Ashok Gehlot in his home district Jodhpur as Gehlot is increasingly seen as the face of Congress in the run up to the assembly polls.

Satya Pal Singh

Satya Pal Singh is a Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh. He is a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs and Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Offices of Profit.

Singh, a former Mumbai police commissioner, has been recognized with medals like the Antrik Suraksha Sewa Padak by Government of India in 2008 and a Special Service Medal for extraordinary work in the Naxalite areas of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in 1990. He is also is credited for breaking the backbone of organised crime syndicates in Mumbai in the 1990s.

Alphons Kannanthanam

Alphons Kannanthanam is a distinguished former IAS officer. He is also a practicing advocate. Alphons became famous as Delhi's Demolition Man when he was Commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority, having cleared DDA areas of encroachment removing around 15,000 illegal buildings. This got him listed in Time Magazine's list of 100 Young Global Leaders in 1994.

The choice of Alphonse as Kerala representative in the government though surprising has a political import. Firstly PM seems to have send across a msg to a divided state unit of the BJP embroiled by graft allegations. Alphonse is a rank outsider who joined BJP a few years back. As a bureaucrat he's had an image of upright and honest officer.

| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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