Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to reshuffle his cabinet and BJP president Amit Shah hinted at a press conference today that the ball has been set rolling on the process. Though he confirmed that a reshuffle is on the offing, he refused to divulge any further detail.
NDTV quotes Shah as saying, "I am not going to discuss it with you. A lot of factors have to be taken into account, including the political situation or the time."
The website further reports: "Prime Minister Modi had, after the BJP's victory in the Assam elections last week, begun consultations with top party leaders for multi-layered changes in his council of ministers, Amit Shah's team of office-bearers, the party's Rajya Sabha members and even Governors."
In January this year, Reuters had reported that the Prime Minister is mulling a reshuffle and big changes in portfolios could be made. The agency also claimed that there was a high chance that finance minister Arun Jaitley will be shifted to the defence ministry and Piyush Goyal, minister of state for power and coal, will be handed over the Finance ministry.
"Jaitley, 63, has failed to push through a major tax reform and critics have faulted his stewardship over India's $2 trillion economy, which is growing fast but not creating enough jobs to employ an expanding workforce," the report claimed.
However, the report had also hinted that the reshuffle will take place soon after Jaitley presents the budget in February. That didn't turn out to be true.
It was widely speculated in the past that Smriti Irani will be shown the door for non-performance. That hunch too turned out to be wrong.
A cabinet expansion had taken place in November 2014.