New Delhi: In a major development, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mega cabinet reshuffle at 6 pm today, 12 Ministers including Union Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo have stepped down.
Babul Supriyo confirmed his resignation through a post on social media, "I have been asked to resign and I have." "I thank Prime Minister for giving me the privilege to serve my country as a Member of his Council of Ministers," he posted on his Facebook account.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Minister of State for Health Ashwini Chaube have also filed their resignation.
The resignation of both Health Ministers comes as the government battles criticism of its handling of the second wave of Covid in April-May, which ambushed India's health infrastructure and left tens of thousands desperate for oxygen, hospital beds and vaccine. As cases dip, the government's next priority is to stave off a third wave of the virus.
This hinges on the government's vaccination plan, which is under the Health Ministry and is also seen to be floundering.
Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar have also quit. So have Sadananda Gowda, Debashree Chaudhuri, Sanjay Dhotre and Ratan Lal Kataria.