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Minister of State for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Thursday resigned as a Union Minister, informed sources said.

Mr Rudy quit before a Cabinet rejig that might be the last before the Lok Sabha elections of 2019.

Just hours before Rudy's resignation, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, when asked about how much longer he would hold additional charge of the defence portfolio, said: "At least I hope not very long".

He had offered to resign last week after the Utkal Express derailment but the Prime Minister had asked him to wait for sometime.

Besides Jaitley, three other union ministers are also holding additional charges of different ministries. Suresh Prabhu could be on his way out of the railways, with Nitin Gadkari taking over along with roads and aviation.

The appointment of Union Minister of State Mahendra Nath Pandey as the next BJP chief of Uttar Pradesh lent greater impetus to an imminent Cabinet reshuffle that may take place on Saturday, a day ahead of Modi's depature on a two-nation visit to China and Myanmar from September 3 to 6. The current reshuffle is being seen as an effort to induct new members into the central cabinet from Tamil Nadu and elsewhere. Here is the list of ministers who resigned and those who offered to resign.

According to some news reports, the ministers who had resigned may get organisational posts in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Kalraj Mishra and Sanjiv Balyan also met Shah, who later called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Maurya is a part of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath's Cabinet and one of the state's two deputy chief ministers.

Against this backdrop, sources said, fresh faces in the Union Council of Ministers were expected from poll-bound Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka along with some from Rajasthan, and Maharashtra among others.

The cabinet reshuffle will take place on Sunday 10 am, a government official source said on Friday.It will be the third such exercise since he took over in May 2014. Junior Health Minister Faggan Singh Kulaste were also learnt to have been summoned by the BJP president.


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