Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to go for a Cabinet expansion as senior minister M Venkaiah Naidu’s almost certain election as the next vice president will leave two heavyweight portfolios without a Cabinet minister.
Already, two key ministries– defence and environment– re without a full-time minister.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan are holding the additional charge of these two portfolios respectively.
Naidu, whose candidature as the NDA’s vice presidential candidate was announced today, currently holds charge of the ministries of Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development.
BJP sources said a reshuffle in the Union council of ministers is expected after the monsoon session of Parliament, and some new faces could also be inducted into the Cabinet.
While Manohar Parrikar’s move to Goa as its chief minister in March left the defence ministry without a full- time Cabinet minister, the death of Anil Dave in May caused a vacancy in the environment ministry.
Prime Minister Modi first expanded his cabinet in November 2014 when he inducted 21 new faces, including Parrikar as defence minister.
In July last year, Modi undertook another reshuffle in which he appointed Prakash Javadekar as the human resource development minister, replacing Smriti Irani, who was shifted to textiles.