Modi Cabinet reshuffle: Here are the new faces from South who could make it

The reshuffle is expected to focus on states that are next to have parliamentary elections, such as Uttar Pradesh and Punjab

The reshuffle of the Union cabinet is expected to take place in a few days, and while the names of those inducted are closely guarded, as is the practice in the Modi government, several names have made the rounds as likely candidates for the cabinet. Leaders such as Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sarbananda Sonowal, Sushil Modi and Bhupender Yadav are expected to make the cut, but some leaders from the south could also be included.

Karnataka, the only state in which the BJP is in power in the south, is made up of four names, all from dominant communities. After the premature death of former rail state minister Suresh Angadi in September 2020, another lingayat from the state could make it to the center. Lok Sabha MP by Haveri-Gadag Shivkumar Udasi is one of the names in the reckoning. He is the son of CM Udasi, a former lawmaker and former minister who passed away in June 2021. The second Lingayat name is that of Bagalkot Lok Sabha MP PC Gaddigoudar, who is the chairman of the Standing Committee on Agriculture.

According to sources, two Vokkaliga leaders are also on the shortlist. Shobha Karandlaje, MP for Lok Sabha from Udupi-Chikkamagaluru and Vice President of BJP Karnataka, could get a seat in the cabinet. She has served as a minister in the state cabinet and her election could also provide representation to the Karnataka coast. The second is that of Lok Sabha MP from Mysore-Kodagu Prathap Simha. He is a two-time MP and a former journalist. Sources say that at best one name could be chosen from each Karnataka parish.

Two names are making the rounds from the state of Andhra Pradesh, where the BJP has tried to establish the party by dealing with alleged attacks on temples. National spokesman and Rajya Sabha member GVL Narasimha Rao remains a strong contender for his debut in the Union cabinet. Although he is a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh, he is from Andhra and remains closely associated with the Andhra BJP unit. He is also currently a member of the BJP’s Central Committee, chaired by Amit Shah.

The second name from Andhra is that of the businessman and Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh CM Ramesh. The two-time MP is currently a member of the Audit Committee. He is the founder and chairman of Rithwik Projects Pvt. Ltd, an infrastructure development company with stakes in irrigation projects and energy.

From the state of Telangana, Dharmapuri Arvind, the controversial MP Lok Sabha from Nizamabad, is the only possible candidate. He is a retired cricketer and the son of former three-time MP D Srinivas of Congress. He defeated KCR daughter Kavita in the elections.

The reshuffle is expected to focus on states next to parliamentary elections, such as Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, as well as admitting high-level leaders who have been replaced in their respective country cabinets.

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