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Narendra Modi to expand the cabinet

New Delhi, July 19 (): Narendra Modi is likely to expand and reshuffle his cabinet after Parliament’s monsoon session ends. The reshuffle in view of a near drought like situation, aims to strengthen the agriculture ministry, add some ministers of state to take the load of Defence minister Arun Jaitley and Home minister Rajnath Singh.

The need to fill the vacancy following death of Gopinath Munde who held Panchayati Raj and rural development is also immediate as Maharashtra goes to polls in a few months. Narendra Modi has been in talks with RSS and Amit Shah and a full fledged exercise will begin after August 14. There were complaints that West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh did not get representation in the cabinet. An evaluation of the existing ministers is also to be taken.

Narendra Modi had given two important portfolios of Finance and Defence to Jaitley. He also has corporate affairs and supervision of economic affairs of other ministries. Now, he is also Rajya Sabha leader of BJP’s Parliamentary party.

Narendra Modi is looking to put in a minister of state to handle defence. At the time of taking charge, Jaitley had hinted that defence might be handled by someone else in future. The opposition has a majority in the Rajya Sabha and this makes the job of Jaitley very difficult. Rajnath Singh has Kiren Raju as MoS and Narendra Modi plans to give yet another MoS to handle Centre-State relations on law and order.

With the threat of a deficient monsoon not ruled out, there is a thought that a MoS be added to agriculture ministry headed by Radha Mohan Singh, a five-term MP and Bihar State president. Singh is very close to Narendra Modi since both started their careers with RSS.

Narendra Modi is also planning to induct young MPs with a view to build a second line of governance. BJP has most number of newly elected MPs who have to come to terms with parliamentary practices and governance. Narendra Modi is also looking at bringing in some members of Vajpayee ministry.