New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to announce an expansion of his council of ministers before June 21 in an exercise that may coincide with BJP chief Amit Shah’s announcement of his new team of office-bearers, party sources said.
The prime minister will be on a foreign tour from June 4 to June 9, visiting Afghanistan, Qatar, Switzerland, the United States and Mexico. The BJP also has a busy calendar of events, with its National Executive scheduled to meet in Allahabad on June 12 and 13, where it is likely to discuss, among other issues, its organisational expansion plans in states where its presence has been nil or marginal. Originally, Modi and Shah planned to announce ministerial expansion and party reorganisation last month, but couldn’t because of elections in five states.
The idea behind carrying out the two exercises simultaneously is to have a fair representation of leaders in key party and government positions, according to BJP insiders. With elections due in Uttar Pradesh next year, the BJP leadership is considering giving adequate representation to the state in the ministerial council, sources say.
Modi and Shah are also likely to hold consultations with the Sangh before carrying out the changes. On May 20, the prime minister had a discussion with BJP president Shah and finance minister Arun Jaitely on the proposed exercises. Later, it was decided the two tasks be taken up only after the 15-day celebrations of the government’s second anniversary got over.
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