Maharashtra’s former chief minister Narayan Rane, Bhiwandi Lok Sabha MP Kapil Patil, leader of BJP’s Uttar Pradesh ally Anupriya Patel, Congress-turned-BJP MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, Uttarakhand lawmaker Ajay Bhatt and the saffron party national president JP Nadda on Wednesday arrived at Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s official residence ahead of cabinet expansion.
Besides them, Sarbananda Sonowal, Bhupender Yadav, Anurag Thakur, Meenakshi Lekhi, Shobha Karandlaje, Sunita Dugga, Pritam Munde, G Kishan Reddy, RCP Singh, Parshottam Rupala and Santanu Thakur are also at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, the official residence of the PM.
One of the interesting names that have arrived at Modi’s residence is late Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s brother Pashupati Kumar Paras, who has been embroiled in family drama with Chirag Paswan.
Ram Vilas’s son and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Chirag on Tuesday said that he has already informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the suspension of five party MPs and that he would go to court if his uncle was inducted on the party quota.
Paras was also spotted shopping for new clothes on Monday ahead of the Cabinet expansion. When asked by reporters whether he had received “The Call" inviting him to join team Modi, Paras said, “Raaz ko raaz rehne do (let secrets be)".
Paras, who led a coup against his nephew Chirag and split LJP, had been hinting for some time that he has been assured a cabinet spot.
PM Modi is said to effect the first reshuffle in his Council of Ministers around 6pm since he assumed the charge for a second term, in what is tipped to be a “major shake-up" of the government as he looks to make it more representative with an eye on political and governance challenges.
BJP leaders Sonowal, Scindia and Rane, all of whom are being seen as probables for induction as ministers in the Modi government, arrived in the national capital on Tuesday.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, the number of visitors coming to meet PM Modi have been reduced. And who those who are allowed to come have undergone an RT-PCR test 24 hours before the appointment.
According to a report in The Print, in case of physical meetings with ministers/officials, the routine protocol of checking temperature with thermal scanner, sanitisation and maintaining social distance is followed strictly. Wearing masks is mandatory for everyone. “In any meeting, a minimum distance of 15-20 feet is maintained between the PM and officials," the news organisation quoted a source as saying.