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Narendra Modi for a `surgical strike' in Union Cabinet?
After his decisive success in Uttar Pradesh elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to be preparing for a `surgical strike' within the Union Cabinet, by dispatching most of senior ministers, replacing them with his pet preferences.
The dispatching of defence minister Manohar Parrikar as Chief Minister of Goa, is said to be part of such design. Other ministers likely to be in Modi's list are Rajnath Singh, Arun Jatiley and Sushma Swaraj, who are feared to be having potentials to replace him, if he was locked in some unexpected problem.

The Union Cabinet is expected to see a major reshuffle soon after the Parliament session on 12 April. Since finance and defence are considered ministries with "heavy workload", it is likely that Arun Jaitley may make way for a new defence minister.

Speculation was also rife about a possible change in the External Affairs Ministry after Sushma Swaraj underwent a kidney transplant in December. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to be intending to bring at least two Chief Ministers into his cabinet.

Defence Ministery is likely to be given to either Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan or Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Even Arun Jaitley is likely to be shifted to Home, as Home Minister Rajnath Singh is said to be dispatched as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Prime Minister is also keen to replace Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia by bringing her into his cabinet. Modi expanded his Cabinet in July last year. Sources indicated that the reshuffle may see some new faces as well as promotions for some others in the Cabinet.

The Modi government is nearing three years of its five-year term and may feel the need to induct fresh faces to bolster key ministries so that to get ready for 2019 polls. At least two senior ministers are said to be spared for BJP organisational activities, making them incharges to one or two states, where presently the party presence is almost negligible.

Among those I&B Minister M Venkaiah Naidu is said to be dispatched to look after party affairs in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Prime Minister's strained relations with Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan Chief Ministers are well known. He is said to be keen to replace them with his choices before those states go for polls in early next year.

Informed sources indicate that Manohar Parrikar was dispatched as he was felt to be not comfortable to by `vested interests' as the ministry involved heavy defence purchases. He is said to be delaying in clearing several files and also not accessible to defence dealers.

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