At least 9 new faces could be inducted into the Union Council of Ministers on Sunday when Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertakes an expansion and reshuffle of his ministry, said to be crucial ahead of assembly elections in some states and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The swearing-in ceremony has been fixed for 10.30 am at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, a slight change from 10 am that was originally planned. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions with BJP chief Amit Shah late in the evening to give finishing touches to the exercise.
The current strength of the Council of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, is 73 and the maximum number of ministers cannot go beyond 81. According to a constitutional amendment, the limit cannot exceed beyond 15 per cent of the total strength of the Lok Sabha which is 545.
As it happened on September 2:
# All nine ministers to take oath at 10:30 am on Sunday at Rashtrapati Bhavan
# I have not been officially informed, but whatever is party and PM's decision I am ready for it: Satyapal Singh
9pm: Sources say that 9 new faces will be inducted into Union Council of Ministers tomorrow. They are: Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Bihar), Shiv Paratap Shukla (Uttar Pradesh), Virendra Kumar (Madhya Pradesh), Anantkumar Hegde (Karnataka), Raj Kumar Singh (Bihar), Hardeep Singh Puri, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Rajasthan), Satya Pal Singh (Uttar Pradesh), Alphons Kannanthanam (Kerala)
8pm: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan reaches BJP president Amit Shah's residence in Delhi
7:30pm: PM Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah hold meet to finalise list
# Andhra Pradesh BJP president K Hari Babu likely to join the Cabinet
# Union Minister for Steel, Birender Singh, denied rumours that he was in the running to become Agriculture Minister
# It is PM Modi's prerogative who should be given what responsibility. He is the one to decide on tomorrow's Cabinet reshuffle: Nitin Gadkari
7:13pm: Sources say that Janata Dal (United) will not be part of the Union Council of Ministers
# I don't have any information in this regard as this is not a state level matter. It's a matter to be dealt with by higher ups, says Bihar’s Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi
# Today everyone is busy with the Cabinet expansion at the Centre. However, we are only busy about ensuring the (good) health of Mumbai citizens (after the deluge earlier this week): Uddhav Thackeray
5:10pm: Have come to know through media that JD(U) will be joining the Cabinet. We have no information, no talks about it. When a proposal will come, will think over it: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar
Pl do not speculate my induction in Central Ministry.I am not even an MP.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) September 2, 2017
4pm: Sources say 10 new faces are likely to be inducted in the Council of Ministers. PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah keen on giving priority to young blood
12:30am- No clarity over AIADMK's representation in Modi Cabinet. Infighting seems to have queered the pitch for the party's hopes of joining Union Cabinet
11:45am- Suspense over JD(U)'s entry into Modi cabinet. Nitish Kumar yet to receive any proposal in this regard from the prime minister.
09:40am- Shiv Sena is demanding three cabinet berths for itself if JD(U) is given two berths. Sena belives that if JD(U) can get two berts with 12 MPs then Sena must get at least three berths with 21 MPs.
09:30am- Shiv Sena reportedly unhappy over reports of JD(U) being offered two cabinet berths.
It will be the third expansion of the union cabinet since PM Modi took over in May 2014.