Ahead of the Union Cabinet expansion on Wednesday evening, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey has resigned. His resignation came immedately after Health Minister Harsh Vardhan submitted his resignation papers. Sources told India TV that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was unhappy with the functioning of Vardhan and his deputy.
Choubey is a Lok Sabha MP from Buxar parliamentary seat of Bihar. He had won elections from here in 2014 and retained the seat in 2019. Choubey, a former Health Minister of Bihar November 2010 to June 2013), is a prominent Brahmin face of the saffron party from Bihar.
Meanwhile, Union Ministers Santosh Gangwar (Labour), Ramesh Pokhriyal (Education), Debasree Chaudhuri (MoS for Women and Child Development Ministry) have also reigned. Earlier on Tuesday, Union Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot was appointed as Governor of Karnataka. Gehlot held the portfolio of Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment.
In another related development, ministerial probables met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence 7, Lok Kalyan Marg. This will be the first reshuffle in his Council of Ministers by Modi since he assumed charge for a second term in May 2019. The Prime Minister is expected to bring in young faces and give representation to various social groups and regions in the reshuffle.
The expansion exercise is scheduled to be held at 6 pm at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Sources said that a total of 43 leaders will take oath. The Union Cabinet can have 81 ministers.
The much-awaited expansion comes close on the heels of the completion of the Modi’s government’s seven years in office. Currently, there are 21 Cabinet ministers, nine Ministers with Independent charge, and 23 Ministers of State in the Council of Ministers.