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Cabinet Reshuffle: Expected New Faces, New Portfolios

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to expand his Cabinet at 11.00 am tomorrow, Tuesday, almost 18 months after the last one in November 2014, here are some expectations on who will be in and who will be out of the Cabinet.

In view of crucial Uttar Pradeswh elections in 2017, it is learnt that the party president Amit Shah is keen to upgrade Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to a cabinet rank. The Hindustan Times said Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel, Hindutva leader and Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityananth and Etah MP Rajvir Singh, the son of Rajasthan governor Kalyan Singh are among the probables from UP who will be inducted into the cabinet now.

Shahjahanpur MP Krishna Raj and Mohanlalganj MP Kaushal Kishore are being sounded for ministry berths in view of the need for capturing the scheduled caste vote in UP, which is a major foce to reckon with during the elections.

For Assam, Dibrugarh MP Rameshwar Teli and Mangaldoi MP Raman Deka are among the probables as one of them will fill the vacuum created by Sarbananda Sonowal, who became assam Chief Minister. One more name being heard is that of Rajya Sabha MP and former journalist MJ Akbar, who is waiting in the wings to fill the gap of Arun Shourie in the previous BJP cabinet.

The Modi cabinet has 66 ministers now and it can go up to 82 as per the Constitution, though not more than 10 new faces are likely this time. Other BJP MPs who have been sounded for the berth in the cabinet include Parsottambhai Rupala, Anupriya Patel, Ramdas Athawale, Ajay Tamta, Krishna Raj, SS Ahluwalia, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Arjun Ram Meghwal and P P Choudhary.

However, there are no guesses on who will be asked to quit.

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