Rajiv Pratap Rudy says his resignation was Centre's 'decision, prerogative'

Small and medium enterprises minister Kalraj Mishra, water resources and Ganga rejuvenation minister Uma Bharti, skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, minister of state for human resource development Mahendra Nath Pandey and minister of state for water resources Sanjiv Baliyan have quit the government. However, reports state that Bharti's resignation has not been accepted by the Prime Minister.

He said he would work to further strengthen the BJP in western UP.

Rudy said BJP president Amit Shah conveyed him the decision that he should step down as a minister.

Mr Rudy left his wife in Patna and flew back to Delhi in the same Indigo plane and drove from the Delhi airport to meet Mr Shah.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had offered to resign owning moral responsibility for the recent train accidents, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put it on hold. Rudy's exit from the ministry has come just when reports of a cabinet-reshuffle-cum-expansion are getting stronger.

Kalraj Mishra is likely to be offered a gubernatorial assignment, sources said.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be leaving on September 3 for the BRICS summit and the government would like to finish the formalities before his trip. Maurya is a part of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath's Cabinet and one of the state's two deputy chief ministers.

Talk of a reshuffle gained ground after Jaitley on Thursday hinted that he would not continue to hold the Defence portfolio for long.

Finance and corporate affairs minister Arun Jaitley was given the additional charge of defence, while Smriti Irani got the additional portfolio of information and broadcasting.

When Jaitley was asked how long he would have dual charge of the finance and defence ministries, he had replied: "At least, I hope, not very long".

The election in Gujarat is due at the end of this year and the party will soon launch its poll slogan "Garaje Gujarat".

People aware of the developments said more ministers may resign as Modi prepares to induct new faces, including those from the Janata Dal (United), or JDU, and All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), into his council of ministers.


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