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Ahead of the Union cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari today held a meeting at Home Minister Rajnath Singh's residence in the national capital.

The Congress on Friday said the impending reshuffle/expansion of the Union Cabinet will make "zero difference" as Prime Minister Narendra Modi believed in total concentration of power, adding he had destroyed the Cabinet form of government.

Since assuming office as PM on May 26, 2014, Modi has already reshuffled his council of ministers twice, the last one having come in 2016 when he inducted 19 new faces and elevated Prakash Javdekar as the cabinet minister.

"A process has been set in motion for the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan around 10 am on Sunday", a government official told PTI.

Sharma, a former Union Commerce Minister, said Modi had virtually done away with the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), even though it existed on paper. The first reason behind the move is that there are several vacancies in key ministries.

Arun Jaitley, who now holds the charge of two portfolios - Finance and Defence, may retain only one.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had also hinted to have offered to resign after Kalinga-Utkal Express crash but was asked to "wait" by the Prime Minister.

Speculations on who all would be part of PM Modi's team are on but going by the previous record, the prime minister may again surprise everyone with his decision.

The assembly elections in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh next year could also play a factor in the choice of inductions made by the BJP regime.

Asked about the ongoing RSS meet in Vrindavan, Sharma said the outfit still did not have "the character and courage" to say it was the "parent political party" of the BJP. As this Firstpost article argues, the question is whether Mishra would be granted an honourable exit by making him the governor of a state or not.

With just 18 months away from 2019 general elections, this rejig is very important for the Modi government.

AIADMK's Thambi Durai and K Venugopal are being seen as among likely representatives of their party in the Cabinet if the Tamil Nadu party joins NDA.

Nitish Kumar, who returned to the BJP-led alliance recently, may get two ministerial berths for the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) since he realised his love for an "old friend" after demonetisation.

The current strength of the council of ministers, including the prime minister, is 73 and the maximum number of ministers can not go beyond 81.


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