NDA allies expect little
Cloud of uncertainty looms over participation of JD(U), Shiv Sena and AIADMK
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake a revamp of the Union Cabinet on Sunday in order to fill key vacancies and bring in new faces with a thrust on merit and demands of realpolitik.
A cloud of uncertainty, however, hangs over the participation of the BJP allies like the JD(U) and Shiv Sena in the reshuffle, the third since the NDA came to power in 2014, and chances of the AIADMK joining the government also appeared slim.
“There was no such talk of JD(U) joining the Union Cabinet. No talks were held on the issue (between the BJP and JD(U)),” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose party JD(U) recently rejoined the NDA, said in Patna.
BJP Chief Amit Shah returned to the capital today after attending a crucial coordination meeting with various RSS outfits in Vrindavan, and he and Modi were giving final touches to the changes.
More than half-a-dozen ministers are expected to make way for new faces in the reshuffle while portfolios of some could be changed.
Party leaders like Bhupender Yadav, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Prahlad Patel, Suresh Angadi, Satyapal Singh, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Anurag Thakur, Shobha Karandlaje, Maheish Girri and Prahlad Joshi are being talked about within the party as among the probable ministers.
Ashwini Choubey and Pravesh Verma, late BJP leader Sahib Singh’ son who called on Shah on Saturday, are also seen as contenders for the ministerial berths. Names of Andhra Pradesh BJP president K Hari Babu, who is an MP from Visakhapatnam, and senior party leader from Rajasthan Om Mathur are also currently doing the rounds.
Both Yadav and Sahasrabuddhe are key organisation leaders and Rajya Sabha members.
Patel is a seasoned Madhya Pradesh leader and Lok Sabha member. Joshi, Karandlaje and Angadi are Lok Sabha MPs from poll-bound Karnataka.
Singh and Verma are MPs from Baghpat in UP and West Delhi and come from politically influential Jat community. Thakur is son of former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and an MP from the state. Sarma, a leader from Assam who has played a key role in BJP’s expansion in the Northeast, is presently not a member of Parliament.