With exit polls predicting a landslide victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, talks have begun in the main opposition party over future role of its top leaders in the central Cabinet led by Narendra Modi.
Sources suggest that BJP president Rajnath Singh, who successfully stitched pre-poll alliance with other political parties and also pacified senior party leaders on contentious issues like appointment of Modi as BJP’s PM nominee, is expected to get the crucial Defence Ministry. Importantly, the Defence Ministry is generally given to the person who is considered to be the second-in-command after the Prime Minister.
Modi’s close confidante and Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley, who contested the Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar constituency, may be awarded with the Finance Ministry. During the 2012 Gujarat Assembly elections, Jaitley had relentlessly worked in the western state to ensure a victory for Modi.
According to the media reports, another senior party leader Sushma Swaraj, who had vehemently opposed Modi’s appointment as BJP’s PM candidate for 2014 General Elections, is expected to get the charge of Foreign Ministry. Sushma is most suited for the Foreign Ministry portfolio given her vast experience in the Parliament in handling critical issues.
At a time when the country is facing a severe threat from the terrorists and Naxals, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who had openly supported Modi as PM, may be bestowed with the Home Ministry portfolio. Parrikar is well known for his clean image and is considered to be an able administrator.
Other senior party leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi may be appointed as the Speaker, Nitin Gadkari may be given Surface Transport Ministry, Venkaiah Naidu is expected to get the important Agricultural Ministry and Ananth Kumar may become the Parliamenraty Affairs Minister.
Other than these, Ravi Shankar Prasad, who at present is a member of the Rajya Sabha is likely to be announced as the Law Minister, Rajiv Pratap Rudy may get he Civil Aviation Ministry and Shahnawaz Hussain, a prominent Muslim face of the party will be the Minority Affairs Minister. Yashwant Sinha, who was the Finance Minister in the NDA government-led by Atal Behari Vajpayee, may be appointed the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission.
The BJP-led NDA coalition is set to return to power in India led by its prime ministerial aspirant Narendra Modi, ending a decade of Congress-led rule, exit polls said on Monday after the country’s most bitterly fought general election ended peacefully.
Three of the four exit polls Monday night estimated that the BJP-led NDA would get 272 to 289 seats in the 545-member Lok Sabha, leaving the Congress bruised and battered.