Union Minister for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigned this evening ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle that is expected any day.
Existing ministers Dharmendra Pradhan (petroleum) and Piyush Goyal (power), who have independent charge of their respective ministries, may be elevated to Cabinet positions. Cabinet reshuffle is likely on Saturday, after President Ram Nath Kovind returns from Tirupati.
The Janata Dal (United), which recently returned to the NDA fold, is also expected to be accommodated in the Cabinet. The Economic Times reported that Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra also tendered his resignation.
There have been clear indications of an upcoming Cabinet reshuffle from sources in the government and the ruling BJP, but the timing remains uncertain.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be out of the country from September 3 to September 7 for the Brics summit in China and a state visit to Myanmar. Also adding up to the big picture was the series of meetings that BJP president Amit Shah held on Thursday at his Akbar Road residence.
Talk of a reshuffle gained ground after the BJP last month chose its senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu as its vice-presidential candidate.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu was among the probables to be removed from the Cabinet, considering the resignation offered by him following the back-toback train derailment incidents in UP's Muzaffarnagar and Auriya districts.
When Jaitley was asked how long he would have dual charge of the finance and defence ministries, he had replied: "At least, I hope, not very long".
Unconfirmed reports say transport and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari may get additional responsibility of railways. Science & Technology Minister Vardhan took over MoEF after the Anil Madhav Dave passed away. Kalraj Mishra, who is past the unofficial age ceiling of 75 years to serve in the government, is tipped to be headed for a gubernatorial assignment.