Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athawale, who will be inducted in the Union Cabinet on Tuesday, said that he would fulfill Dr B.R. Ambedkar’s dream of upliftment of Dalits and the poor.
“Our aim will be to work for development. Whatever department will be given to me, I will work hard,” said the Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra.
Athawale had earlier thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this opportunity and vowed to work for the backward sections of the society.
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“I just talked to Amit Shah ji and he has given me the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He told me that I will be taking oath tomorrow. I am very happy that Prime Minster Modi and party president have given us this opportunity,” he told the media on Monday.
The much-awaited reshuffle and expansion of the Union Council of Ministers will take place later in the day and some new faces are expected to be inducted while few ministers likely to be dropped.
President Pranab Mukherjee will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan here at 11 a.m.
At present, there are 64 ministers, including Prime Minister Modi, in the Council.
Prime Minister Modi will in all probability induct 19 new faces, who will bring their unique rich experience and expertise to their office.
According to sources, the selection framework clearly laid out by the Prime Minister was to bring in “doers and performers”, who would deliver on his vision of development and good governance and further his central priority of “Gaon, Garib and Kisan”.
BJP MPs S S Ahluwalia, Vijay Goel, Purushottam Rupala, Mansukhbhai Mandavia, Anil Madhav Dave, M J Akbar, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal and Ramdas Athawale of RPI among others most likely to find a place in the expanded Cabinet.
The expansion comes after an exhaustive whetting and selection process to find out the best talent and people, who were assessed on the value they would bring to the Union Council of Ministers, said sources.
This marks a firm departure from the usual routine of frequent changes based on caste, religion and other time serving political considerations – and is a firm endorsement of the brand of developmental politics that the Prime Minister champions, they added.
The decision of expanding the Council of Ministers came after taking into consideration a diverse range of factors. The new ministers were identified from various walks of life who would bring their unique rich experience and expertise to their office, said sources.
The Prime Minister, who had reviewed the performance of various ministries indicating a reshuffle earlier on June 30, last expanded his Cabinet in November 2014.
According to the Constitution, the total number of ministers in the Council of Ministers must not exceed 15 percent of the total number of members of the Lok Sabha i.e. 82.