Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kalraj Mishra on Saturday confirmed he had resigned as the minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises ahead of a major Cabinet reshuffle reported to be scheduled for Sunday.
Mishra, 76, said he had submitted his resignation on Friday after he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said the prime minister had expressed satisfaction over Mishra’s performance in the ministry. “So the question of non-performance does not arise in my case,” he said, according to IANS.
Mishra had offered to step down from his post in 2016, however, the BJP leadership decided to retain him until the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, as Mishra is a prominent Brahmin leader. “After the election concluded, I went once again to Modi and party president Amit Shah and said that I have completed 76 years now, and you can take a decision about me,” he said.
So far, Union ministers Bandaru Dattatreya, Nirmala Sitharaman, Uma Bharti, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Radha Mohan Singh, Sanjeev Balyan and Giriraj Singh have resigned from their posts.
The new appointments expected
Arun Jaitley has held the defence and finance portfolios both after Manohar Parrikar quit as the defence minister to return to Goa as chief minister. On Thursday, when asked about how long he may hold two key portfolios for, he had said, “At least, I hope, not very long.”
The urban development and information and broadcasting portfolios of Venkaiah Naidu, the current vice president, may be included in the reshuffle. Former Environment Minister Anil Dave’s portfolio may also be re-assigned, after his death. Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan manages environment too.
Textiles Minister Smriti Irani was given additional charge of the I&B Ministry, but reports suggest it may be re-assigned. Reports also suggested that the Janata Dal (United), the Bharatiya Janata Party’s newest ally, will be given a Cabinet berth. Some believe that the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam may get a position, though this is unlikely unless the party joins BJP’s alliance at the Centre.