Media has been abuzz with news regarding cabinet formation of Narendra Modi. Speculations are rife as to who will make the cut. Names of number of people are doing the rounds for the same ministry. Plus there is also suspense about the role of elders in the party like M.M. Joshi and L.K. Advani. Whether Rajnath Singh & Amit Shah will be part of the Cabinet or not is always a point of intense debate.

Let’s answer the key questions one by one:

(i) Will Advani & Joshi be part of ministry?

Advani – No. Joshi – Yes.

Joshi is very keen to get a berth and he is very intelligent with grasp over a number of issues. Remember, he was entrusted the task of drafting the manifesto. Age should not come in his way. Modi would like to use his experience.

Advani is egoistic and would not like to be minister under his chela Modi. He would not like to be Speaker. He has his eyes on the President’s position. Pranab’s tenure ends in July 2017 and he would pitch for that role. BJP should make him the President, deserves the throne, after all he has made the party what it is today. In the interim he wants NDA Chairman position is what I hear from sources. Modi won’t like to give that position to him to ensure there are no two centers of power. For betterment of India, it should not happen, otherwise it will be similar to UPA I & II position (MMS President, Sonia UPA Chairman). I think and this is bizarre, a post like Chief Mentor of NDA would be created for him so that he could provide his guidance to govt.

(ii) Will Rajnath & Amit Shah join govt.?

Rajnath – 50:50. Amit Shah – No.

Amit Shah whatever said is a controversial figure with murder cases against him. Modi wouldn’t want to start on a wrong note and face criticism. He will continue to remain Modi’s hanuman, keeping an eye on all ministers and party functionaries. Modi also needs Amit Shah to counter influence of BJP President in the party (whoever it is, either Rajnath or somebody else).

Rajnath is not averse to joining govt. if he gets a key post like Defence / Home. Modi and Rajanth jodi has been a hit and party would like to continue with the partnership in govt. as well. The two gel together well, Rajnath knows his limitations and would never be threat to Modi. Infact his stature in party has increased after he has propped up Modi. This would also provide Rajnath the opportunity to take a shot at PM post if such opportunity arises in future due to whatever reason.

(iii) Who will be part of ministry?

This is easier to understand if broken up into various categories of party people which need representation. Consideration has to be given to heavyweights, allies, women, minorities, technocrats, people who made sacrifices or were denied party tickets. State representation will also play a key role. Some BJP leaders will of course be kept for party work.

Modi wants a small size ministry compared to Manmohan, feel it will be a difficult task considering the various dynamics above.

Heavyweights:  Arun Jaitley, S. Swamy, Yashwant Sinha, Meenakshi Lekhi, Nitin Gadkari (if not made party President), Rajnath Singh, Sushama Swaraj, Murali Manohar Joshi, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Shahnawaz Hussain, Gopinath Munde. Arun Shourie, Ananth Kumar, Maneka Gandhi, Rajiv Pratap Rudy

Minority Community: S.S. Ahluwalia (W. Bengal), P.A. Sangma (N. East)

Women Representation: Sumitra Mahajan (from Madhya Pradesh quota), Uma Bharti (from Uttar Pradesh quota), Najma Heptullah (also minority)

Technocrats:  Sreedharan (Railways), Jagdish Bhagwati (economist), Prof. Vaidyanathan (IIMB professor who made the Black Money report), Basawaraj Patil (educationist)

Leaders who need to be accommodated for their sacrificed: Lalji Tandon (vacated seat for Rajnath), CP Thakur  (vacated seat for Ram Kirpal Yadav), Smriti Irani (fought against Rahul Gandhi)

States Representation: O Rajagopal (Kerala), Kalraj Mishra (UP), Koshiyari (Uttarakhand), Anurag Thakur (HP), Jugal Kishore (J&K), Karia Munda (Jharkhand), DV Sadanand Gowda (Karnataka), Dr. Harshvardhan (Delhi), Jual Oram (Odisha), Dushyant Singh + 1 More (Rajasthan), Varun Gandhi / Dr. Satyapal Singh (UP), 1 from Assam, R.K. Singh (Bihar), 2 from Gujarat, 1 from Haryana, VK Singh (UP), Niehieu Riuo (Nagaland), Pon Radhakrishnan (Tamil Nadu), Bandara Dattatreya (Telangana)

Allies: Ramadoss (PMK), Chirag or Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Wife of Sukhbir Badal (Akali Dal), PA Sangma (NPP), Suresh Prabhu + 1 More (Shiv Sena), JC Diwakar Reddi + 2 More (TDP)

(iv) Who will get the coveted ministries?

Deputy Chairman Planning Commission: Yashwant Sinha / R.K. Singh / Dark horse (Dr. Harshvardhan) / MM Joshi

Speaker: Sushama, PA Sangma, Someone from TDP / Shiv Sena

Home: Rajnath Singh / Nitin Gadkari / R. K. Singh / Dark horse (Somebody from Gujarat)

Finance: Arun Shourie / Arun Jaitley / Yashwant Sinha / Dark horse (Piyush Goyal / Deepak Parekh)

External Affairs: Arun Jaitley / Yashwant Sinha / S. Swamy (Dark horse Ravi Shankar Prasad)

Defence: Rajnath / Gadkari / V. K. Singh / Sushama / M. M. Joshi

Chief Economic Advisor – Jagdish Bhagwati / Prof. Vaidyanathan

Only time will tell, what his ministry will look at. He will though have to play a balancing role………

 

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