The BJP government is waiting for the formal announcement of the merger of the two ADMK factions before announcing the much-awaited cabinet expansion.
Sources tell NewsCode that BJP will get a greater weightage with this expansion. “This will possibly be the last reshuffle before the next general elections. Political sensitivities for 2019 will be kept in mind,” a senior BJP leader told NewsCode.
Notably, BJP’s new found allies in Bihar and Tamil Nadu will be the big gainers of the cabinet expansion. Following the current, it is surmised that JD(U) could bag the prestigious Railway portfolio, which may see Suresh Prabhu leaving for another department. While BJP insiders say this may have nothing to do with the ministry’s performance, the railway ministry has been the centre of criticism due to delays and safety concerns, on many occasions lately.
With the expansion, there may be surprise entries in the ‘Big 4’– Finance Ministry, Defence Ministry, Home Ministry or the Ministry of External Affairs. “Defence ministry is a very serious concern. Names are still being discussed. There is no finality yet,” the BJP leader further added.