Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns amid reports of likely cabinet reshuffle

Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns amid reports of likely cabinet reshuffle

Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy has resigned ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle.

Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Balyan and MoS MSME Giriraj Singh have also resigned, according to sources.

Rudy was among three ministers - the other two were steel minister Choudhury Birendra Singh and minister of state for human resource development Upendra Kushwaha - who met the BJP president last week.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be leaving on September 3 for the BRICS summit and the government would like to finish the formalities before his trip. Rudy's exit from the ministry has come just when reports of a cabinet-reshuffle-cum-expansion are getting stronger.

There is speculation that high-profile ministries such as Railways might see a change of guard, especially in light of recent derailments which prompted Suresh Prabhu to offer to resign.

BJP President Amit Shah had met several senior ministers on Thursday morning. Yet trips made by Union ministers such as Kalraj Mishra and Dharmendra Pradhan to Shah's residence only added more grist to the mill.

The united AIADMK - comprising of the factions led by Chief Minister E Palaniswami and and former CM O Panneerselvam - is also expected to join the NDA. Even during the last reshuffle in July past year, sources said, ministers were asked to submit their resignations to the party leadership first.

Earlier in the day, Union minister Mahendra Nath Pandey was appointed Uttar Pradesh BJP president in place of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, creating one more vacancy in the Council of Ministers.

Prime Minister Modi had himself conveyed this over the last few days to the ministers and assigned future roles for them, sources said. Modi didn't accept the resignation, and asked him to wait.

Harsh Vardhan, who is heading the Ministry of Science and Technology, was charged to head the Ministry of Environment following the demise of Anil Madhav Dave in May.