New Delhi | Jagran Politics Desk: With an eye on assembly elections in five states -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur -- next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi might expand his cabinet in a day or two for the first time after his landslide victory in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

According to media reports, former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who helped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) return to power in Madhya Pradesh, and Sarbananda Sonowal will likely be rewarded.

Reports also suggest Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United (JDU) will also get a place in the cabinet reshuffle. The JDU had was left out of the cabinet in 2019 after the BJP-led NDA offered it only one ministerial post. However, reports suggest that the party will likely get two places in the cabinet reshuffle.

It is also expected that several BJP leaders, including Sushil Modi, from Bihar will also get a place in the Modi government. The BJP is also planning to include leaders from Uttar Pradesh, where assembly elections are slated to be held next year, in the union cabinet.

PM Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda have also held several meetings over the past few weeks. Notably, PM Modi has not expanded his cabinet ever since he returned to power in 2019. It must be mentioned here that several ministers in the Modi cabinet hold more than one portfolio.

BJP sources, quoted by news agency IANS, have expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in the cabinet expansion. However, they say that the cabinet expansion has been delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

"It was postponed as a reshuffle at the peak of the second wave of the Covid pandemic could have sent a wrong message among the people. Now that the Covid cases are coming down and the situation is under control, we hope that the cabinet expansion will take place soon. But the date and time will be only decided by the Prime Minister," IANS quoted BJP sources as saying.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma