Former diplomat Hardeep Puri, former union Home Secretary R.K. Singh, former bureaucrat K.J. Alphons, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh and five other new faces including MPs Ashwini Choubey from Bihar and Anant Kumar Hegde from Karnataka will be inducted into the Union Council of Ministers in the expansion and reshuffle to be carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.

The others to be inducted are Shiv Pratap Shukla, a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh, Virendra Kumar, a Scheduled Caste member of Lok Sabha from Madhya Pradesh and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, a Lok Sabha member from Rajasthan.

Sources said six ministers have resigned as part of restructuring for which the Prime Minister has chosen the power of four Ps-Passion, Proficiency, Professional and Political Acumen for Progress.

Among those who resigned are Skill Development Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Kalraj Mishra, Minister of State for Human Resource Developmet Mahendra Nath Pandey and junior Water Resources Minister Sanjeev Balyan. 

However, sources did not indicate as to whether the new entrants are being inducted into the Cabinet or as Ministers of State. Since they will be first timers in the government, all the nine may be inducted as Ministers of State.

The disclosure of names came after a final round of discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah after Shah returned from Vrindavan where he met top RSS brass including Mohan Bhagwat on the third reshuffle exercise by Modi, seen as crucial ahead of assembly polls in some states and 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met Shah in the evening triggering speculation of a promotion to cabinet rank. There was no indication as to the changes being made at the cabinet level amid speculation that Modi could appoint a Defence Minister while shifting Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to some other ministry. 

The sources said in continuation of his track record identifying his fellow team members on the merit of their past performance and future potential, the Prime Minister has selected the new ministers with a mandate to deliver on his vision of new India. 

The vision is built on foundations of development and good governance with a focus on poor opressed and deprieved section of the society. They said the ministers were going to be strategic placed in key ministries, specially focussing on last-mile delivery directly to the people. 

They come from diverse social and economic backgrounds as well as from across the country. IANS

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