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The momentum towards a reshuffle in the Union Cabinet seems to be reaching critical mass with Union Minister for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy offering to quit, along with Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Faggan Singh Kulaste.

The newly appointed chief of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP and Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Mahendra Pandey, has also offered to step down.

Speaking to media, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said he does not expect to continue holding dual charge of finance and defence for very long.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be leaving on September 3 for the BRICS summit and the government would like to finish the formalities before his trip.

Even during the last reshuffle in July past year, sources said, ministers were asked to submit their resignations to the party leadership first.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is already holding charge of the Defence Ministry after Manohar Parrikar resigned to become Goa Chief Minister.

Kalraj Mishra was today dropped from the Union Cabinet.

BJP President Amit Shah had met several senior ministers on Thursday morning.

There have been murmurs that transport minister Nitin Gadkari may be given the charge of Railways. The last Cabinet reshuffle took place in July a year ago.

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.

Harsh Vardhan, who is heading the Ministry of Science and Technology, was charged to head the Ministry of Environment following the demise of Anil Madhav Dave in May. Incumbent Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu offered to quit last week in the wake of recent back-to-back train derailments that claimed around two dozen lives. Maurya, along with the UP CM and three other ministers, will contest the polls for the Legislative Council.

Some election-bound states, including Congress-ruled Karnataka, could get greater representation in the Council of Ministers.


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