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Modi Cabinet in place even before polls?

Modi Cabinet in place even before polls?
Highlights

BJP PM Candidate Narendra Modi Cabinet in Place Even Before Polls. There is still one month to go for the results to be out, but so confident is BJP of coming to power that the party headquarters is already abuzz with the talk of Modi cabinet. While the nervous Congress is mulling ways to keep Modi out from forming the government by propping up BSP supremo Mayawati as the Prime Minister, BJP is way ahead and has already given portfolios to its leaders.

BJP abuzz with talk of Cabinet even as results are a month away

New Delhi: There is still one month to go for the results to be out, but so confident is BJP of coming to power that the party headquarters is already abuzz with the talk of Modi cabinet. While the nervous Congress is mulling ways to keep Modi out from forming the government by propping up BSP supremo Mayawati as the Prime Minister, BJP is way ahead and has already given portfolios to its leaders.

Arun Jaitley is the favourite for getting the prestigious Finance Ministry. Jaitley, who has excellent personal equations with Modi, would prefer to become the next Finance Minister. As the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, he has often spoken on issues relating to the economy. If not a Deputy Prime Minister, he would like to be the Finance Minister, which is considered to be the second most important portfolio in the Cabinet. Modi also would prefer a trustworthy leader to steer the nation’s economy. Although Modi has not yet unveiled his economic policy, it is learnt that his thrust would be on building infrastructure, which creates jobs, to ease poverty, rather than merely giving out doles. The new thrust would be on assets-creation.

BJP President Rajnath Singh, stretched his neck out to make Modi the BJP Campaign Committee and again to declare Modi the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate. On both occasions, Rajnath Singh had to contend with stiff resistance from BJP patriarch L K Advani, but he managed to sort it out.

Singh, party insiders say, could be tipped for a prestigious assignment like Home or Defence.

Murli Manohar Joshi fancies himself as the next HRD and Science & Technology Minister. Ravi Shankar Prasad could be the next Law Minister and Sushil Kumar Modi the Agriculture Minister. Nitin Gadkari may settle for something like the Road, Transport and Highways.

Sushma Swaraj is tipped to become the External Affairs. Sushma, like Atal Behari Vajpayee, enjoys wider acceptability. Like Vajpayee, who chaired Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs and went on to become the External Affairs Minister for the first time in the Janata Party Government led by Morarji Desai in 1977, she has also served as the Chairperson of Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs. Vajpayee represented Visidha in the past, from where Sushma Swaraj is now seeking re-election.

However, doubts are being expressed over the inclusion of L K Advani in the Modi Government, as it is felt that he may emerge as a second power centre, which even the Sangh Pariwar may not approve of it. Advani could be continued as NDA Chairman, just like Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who functioned as UPA Chairperson, during the tenure of the Congress-led UPA Government.

Amit Shah, the right-hand man of Modi, is tipped for a key assignment. He could be even inducted as Minister of State in PMO and Personnel, so that he could directly handle the CBI. Modi is expected to pack his Cabinet with his own team like Purushottam Rupala, Piyush Goel, J P Nadda and Rajiv Pratap Rudy. Team Modi will be reflected in the new Cabinet, claims a party insider.

Arun Shourie is also angling for Ministerial berth and wants to be the next Commerce Minister.

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