Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns from Union Cabinet, others speculated to follow

Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns from Union Cabinet, others speculated to follow

Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns from Union Cabinet, others speculated to follow

Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Sanjeev Balyan, who resigned as union ministers ahead of Sunday's cabinet rejig today said they followed the directions of the party leadership to step down.

It's no surprise that Rudy's resignation had come just days after the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), a flagship scheme that is under the close watch of the prime minister's office, came under criticism for failing to achieve its targets.

In a late-night development, water resources minister Uma Bharti also resigned from the Cabinet on Thursday. Finance minister Arun Jaitley and science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan are holding the additional charge of defence and environment portfolio.

Sources said that it was only after after this development that these leaders offered to resign from their posts.

However, the faction-ridden AIADMK is not likely to be invited to join the Cabinet.

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Those expected to be sworn is as Ministers include BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, and Karnataka leaders Prahlad Joshi and Suresh Angadi. Sources within the BJP said it was confirmed in the meet to relieve Jaitley of the Defence charge, which he has been handling along with Defence. Whereas Mahendra Nath Pandey was appointed Uttar Pradesh BJP president in place of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, creating one more vacancy in the Council of Ministers.

This will be the third such reshuffle since Modi took over in May 2014. He said on Thursday that he will not be occupying the Defence Minister post for long, hinting at the imminent reshuffle. A key goal is to free up some ministers for the all-important task of winning elections.

With the exit of Manohar Parrikar and M Venkaiah Naidu from the Government and the passing away of Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave, the Council of Ministers is now being left with three vacant positions. Five junior ministers were also dropped.

The election in Gujarat is due at the end of this year and the party will soon launch its poll slogan "Garaje Gujarat".

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