Union Minister Babul Supriyo, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and ten other ministers have quit, sources said today, hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mega reshuffle.
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar were the first to quit the Union Cabinet. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State for Health Ashwini Chaube have also quit.
Mr Nishank was Education Minister and Santosh Gangwar was Labour Minister. Both have reportedly given health reasons in their resignation letters.
According to Labour Ministry sources, Mr Gangwar paid for his ministry’s poor handling of the migrants and jobs crisis in the pandemic.
The Supreme Court had severely indicted the ministry for its failure to set up a portal for registering unorganized and migrant workers. “The lackadaisical attitude of the Ministry of Labour is unpardonable,” the Supreme Court had said on June 29.
There is speculation that a few more ministers are on their way out, on the basis of a detailed performance review by the PM and top leaders over the past few weeks.
Among likely names up for elevation are Anurag Thakur, Purshottam Rupala and GK Reddy. All three were seen arriving at PM Modi’s residence along with would-be ministers expected to be sworn in later today.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sarbananda Sonowal, Narayan Rane, Bhupendra Yadav and Meenakshi Lekhi are set to join the government. They were among ministers-to-be who visited PM Modi’s residence ahead of the revamp.
This is the first revamp of the Council of Ministers since PM Modi started his second term in May 2019.