Prime Minister Narendra Modi will expand his Cabinet on Tuesday, 5 July, with a Dalit tilt, possibly eyeing the Assembly elections in uttar Pradesh in 2017.
Prominent among the names doing the rounds for induction include Anupriya Patel, an OBC Lok Sabha member from ally Apna Dal, and a number of BJP leaders, who met party chief Amit Shah today, reported BusinessWorld.
BJP's Rajya Sabha members MJ Akbar, Vijay Goel and Purushottam Rupala, Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia, Republican Party of India leader Ramdas Athawale, Almora MP Ajay Tamta, Bikaner MP Arjun Ram Meghwal, Pali MP PP Choudhary and Krishan Raj, another BJP Dalit MP from UP are the other names that will probably be included.
Though the top ministers are unlikely to be disturbed, some ministers can also be dropped.
Frank Noronha, principal spokesperson of the government, tweeted today that the Cabinet expansion will take place tomorrow at 11 am.
Cabinet expansion tomorrow at 11 a.m.— Frank Noronha (@DG_PIB) July 4, 2016
There is also a vacancy in the Council of Ministers after Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal became the Chief Minister of Assam.
This will be the second expansion of the Cabinet after PM Modi came to power in May 2014. The first expansion took place in November 2014.
There are currently 64 Union ministers, including the Prime Minister, and there can be a maximum of 82 of them under a constitutional bar.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis arrived in Delhi on 3 July to meet party president Amit Shah and discuss the Cabinet expansion, reported BusinessWorld.