PM meets Prez, Cabinet expansion currency gains momentum

NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met President Pranab Mukherjee amid speculation over first major expansion of the council of his ministers. Talks of Cabinet rejig were triggered yesterday when Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is tipped to become Defence Minister, met the Prime Minister and other top brass of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party.
The Goa CM himself steered clear of the speculation, saying he did not discuss his prospects of joining the Union Cabinet. Talking to reporters, Mr Parrikar said, “I haven’t had a discussion yet, why put the horse before cart.” Apart from Finance and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, several Ministers in the Cabinet holding charge of more than one crucial Ministries are likely to be relieved of additional responsibilities, it is learnt.
There are indications that due to his recent surgery, Mr Jaitley may like to give up the vast Defence portfolio. Two other senior ministers–Information Technology and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Information and Broadcasting and Environment minister Prakash Javadekar — are also handling two ministries each.
The other BJP leaders whose names are in the reckoning for the birth in the council of ministers include Yashwant Sinha’s son Jayant Sinha and Hansraj Ahir.
(AGENCIES)

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