Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held a series of meetings to review the performance of select ministries, especially in the second wave of Covid, sources say amid reports of a possible cabinet expansion.
A meeting between the Big Three — PM Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda – this evening signals big changes ahead based on a review of the performance of ministers.
There is also talk of a major social scheme to be announced in the next few days as the party preps for important elections next year, including in Uttar Pradesh.
The Prime Minister held meetings for well over five hours yesterday at his 7 Lok Kalyan Marg home with seven ministries and assessed the work done by them during the Covid crisis, when the scale of virus cases and deaths were seen to have caught the government unprepared. Dharmendra Pradhan, Prakash Javadekar and Hardeep Puri were among the Union Ministers he met.
The review meeting comes days after the Prime Minister announced that the centre would take back control of vaccination from states and provide vaccines free of charge to all above 18 from June 21.
Yesterday’s meeting, sources say, began at 5 pm and continued till 10 in the night. Mr Nadda was also present.
The ministries, seven in all, made brief presentations on various decisions taken by them, sources in the government said.
Under review were Petroleum Ministry, Steel Ministry, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Heavy Industries and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change.
Usually, the Council of Ministers meets after the Cabinet meeting every month. But this time, the meeting was held independently.
The meetings come on the back of withering criticism against PM Modi’s government for the handling of India’s deadly second virus wave and a slow vaccine roll-out.
The country – which has the second-highest number of Covid cases in the world – has seen its health infrastructure break down over the past two months, with major cities running out of oxygen and hospitals overwhelmed with patients.