Eight union ministers met with BJP president, Amit Shah, on Thursday, leading to an increased speculation about an impending cabinet reshuffle.
Jaitley even jokingly remarked that he hoped he wouldn’t remain defence minister for much longer. He is also in charge of the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections.
He is assisted by NS Tomar, N Sitharaman, J Singh and PP Chaudhary. All of them met with Shah on Thursday.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP, Bhupendra Yadav, tried to play down the meetings with Shah.
“(We) discussed issues and strategy for the Gujarat elections. No other topics (were) discussed,” he said.
Both finance and defence are considered to be ministries with a heavy workload and their incumbents are also members of the cabinet committee on security. In fact, soon after the BJP won the 2014 general elections, Jaitley was given the additional charge of defence and Parrikar was later made the defence minister.
In May 2017, science and technology minister, Harsh Vardhan, was given additional charge of the environment and forest ministry after party leader, Anil Madhav Dave passed away. This department is also seen to require a full-time minister.
In July, textiles minister, Smriti Irani, was given additional charge of the information and broadcasting ministry after senior BJP leader, Venkaiah Naidu quit to contest – and later win – the vice presidential election.