Modi ready with the Cabinet
New Delhi: Modi Ready with the Cabinet, Ahead of the counting of votes on Friday, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is readying himself for the top post.
- Doubts on Advani’s role; NDA Chairman or LS Speaker
- Sushma upset, not to join Govt if suitable post fitting her seniority is not given
- LK, Sushma, Joshi are miffed they are kept out of decision-making
- Jaitley to get Finance, Rajnath Home, Sushma Defence or External Affairs, Gadkari Rlys or Infrastructure, Ravi Shankar Prasad Law, Amit Shah MoS in PMO
- Also to bring in some technocrats like S Sreedharan, Suresh Prabhu to the Council of Ministers
New Delhi: Ahead of the counting of votes on Friday, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is readying himself for the top post. It is not only the BJP and its Allies, which are confident of an absolute majority but it seems that even the Congress and its Allies, have given-up all the hopes of victory with the spokespersons readying themselves to shield AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi. A day after the results, Modi will stage a huge roadshow in Varanasi on Saturday before flying into the Capital to take part in the crucial BJP Parliamentary Board meeting.
It is here that the roadmap for the government formation would be given the final touches. Preparing the ground for him, BJP president Rajnath Singh along with BJP joint general-secretary (organisation) Saudan Singh and Modi’s right-hand man Amit Shah were busy consulting the RSS leaders, including Suresh Soni, who is the Sangh points man for the BJP. Rajnath was closeted with the Sangh leaders for three hours, sharing the feedback on his meeting with Modi in Gandhinagar. Rajnath along with Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari had flown into Gujarat on Wednesday to evolve post-poll strategy for the party. Rajnath and Modi were the first to visit the RSS headquarters soon after the poll campaign ended on May 10.
Interestingly, it is for the first time that everyone is confident of BJP victory and not questioning the exit polls, which had gone awry in 2004 and 2009, when contrary to the projections, the UPA had come to power. To make sure that there are no hiccups at the later stage; the RSS has directed the BJP leadership to define the role of BJP Patriarch L K Advani in advance.
It is learnt that Advani is keen to become the Speaker but Modi is reluctant to give him the much-coveted post. Modi is keen to make one of his loyalists as the Speaker rather than Advani, who due to his seniority would not like to work under Modi and would rather prefer to take his own call on important issues. The BJP satraps with the help of RSS leaders are trying to convince Advani to continue as NDA Chairman and serve as a mentor to the Modi government. The Modi Cabinet is almost ready with the key posts going to all the senior leaders with Sushma Swaraj likely to get the portfolio of either Defence or External Affairs Ministry.
Arun Jaitley is tipped to become Finance Minister while Rajnath Singh will prefer the post of Home Minister, who is considered to be second in command after the Prime Minister. Nitin Gadkari wants Railways or any other Infrastructure Ministry. The others who are sure to find a place in Modi’s cabinet include Smriti Irani, who may be given I&B Ministry, Ravi Shankar Prasad being a lawyer may get Law Ministry while Amit Shah may prefer to work under Modi as MoS in PMO.
Modi is also considering to bring technocrats at MoS level to increase the efficiency in government functioning. The names of Metro man E Sreedharan is being taken as MoS in Railways is being mentioned as Modi is keen on introducing Bullet Train in the country. Former Army Chief V K Singh is tipped to become MoS Defence. Suresh Prabhu is being considered for a water-related Ministry.
While Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Murli Manohar Joshi are peeved that they have been kept out of the government-making exercise, Modi’s confidants, on the other hand, insist that it is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to choose his team. This time round, even the RSS is giving Modi a helping hand by refusing to lend their ears to his detractors.