Sitharaman may resign; decision on a 'new' Commerce Minister pending

Sitharaman may resign; decision on a 'new' Commerce Minister pending

PM Modi's cabinet reshuffle - the third since 2014 - has been overdue for months. There is much change expected - and big ones at that. New names are expected to join the PM's camp, and some of those at the MoS level may witness elevations.

The Dollar Business Bureau 

It is being speculated that the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman has offered to resign from the post. But there are sources who say this may not be altogether true. There's also talk of another official being given the Commerce Ministry's charge. The final announcements are due this coming Sunday.

Such reports are now common given the count of resignations that are being handed over at the Union level. A number of Union ministers have resigned on Thursday, indicating a major reshuffle in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet that according to reports could happen on Friday or Saturday, before Modi leaves to attend the BRICS summit in China on September 3.

MoS (independent charge) of State Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti also stepped down from their positions.

Some other ministers who have offered their resignations include Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Kalraj Mishra, Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjiv Baliyan and Minister of State for Human Resource Development Mahendra Nath Pandey.

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu had already offered to quit in the wake of some railway accidents.

In the meantime, Sitharaman is expected to return for organisational activities. She is an assistant in-charge for the upcoming elections of Gujarat Assembly.

According to reports, BJP President Amit Shah is seeking to draft Sitharaman for a major role in party’s ‘Mission South’ agenda.

Sitharaman had joined the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2006 and was appointed as the National Executive. She has also served as a member of National Commission for Women (NCW) from 2003 to 2005. In 2010, she was elected as the spokesperson of BJP. She was also elected as the member of Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh. Currently, she is the Rajya Sabha MP representing Karnataka.

Sitharaman became the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Commerce & Industry on May 26, 2014. She was also holding the post of Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs. There is chatter that Sitharaman may be elevated and given charge in a different ministry.