Modi's new government takes care of regional balance
UP represented by 8 ministers apart from PM; Maharashtra, Haryana, J'khand get 11 ministerial berths.
UP, the most populous state, is represented by eight ministers apart from the PM, from east, west, Bundelkhand and Awadh regions. BJP won 62 seats in UP, and the Cabinet reflects that. From western UP, the party gave ministerial berths to four MPs.
Muzaffarnagar MP Sanjeev Balyan, who defeated RLD leader Ajit Singh, has been rewarded for keeping Jat voters intact with the party. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, a Rajya Sabha member, is the only Muslim face in Modi’s Cabinet. From Awadh region, the party has once again relied on the familiar faces of Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, who defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, and Niranjan Jyoti. Purvanchal has got one ministerial berth in UP BJP president Mahendra Nath Pandey. With no inclusions from Apna Dal, a BJP ally in the state, the party has given a strong message of strengthening its own organisation rather than focusing on allies.
Three states — Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand — are scheduled to go to the polls later this year and together the three states have got 11 ministerial berths. From Maharashtra, there are seven faces in the new Cabinet. While five are from BJP, one each is from the Shiv Sena and RPI. From Jharkhand, the party chose former CM Arjun Munda for representation in the Cabinet. Munda was a CM candidate in 2014, but he lost the assembly election and Raghubar Das became the CM. The rivalry between the two leaders is well known and by shifting Munda to Delhi, the PM has resolved the leadership issue in the state. Munda is also a strong tribal face from Jharkhand. From Haryana, three out of 10 party MPs have got ministerial berths. BJP’s focus in Haryana is on non-Jat voters and the party has given positions to a Yadav (Rao Inderjeet), a Gurjar (Krishan Pal Gurjar) and a Dalit (Ratan Lal Kataria).
Rajasthan, Gujarat, Himachal, Delhi and Uttarakhand recorded 100% results for BJP, with the party winning all the seats in these states. Rajasthan and Gujarat have been given three ministerial positions each while Uttarakhand, Delhi and Himachal have got one each. In Bihar, NDA won 39 out of 40 seats. There are six ministers from the state, including LJP’s Ram Vilas Paswan. Five BJP ministers come from Bhumihar, Brahmin, Rajput, Kayastha and Yadav communities, in line with the BJP’s vote base.
From southern India, BJP has given ministerial positions to six leaders. In Karnataka, where BJP did exceedingly well, the party has given positions to four leaders. These include Nirmala Sitharaman, who is currently a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka. DV Sadanand Gowda has also been inducted and is likely to get a key portfolio.
Four-time MP from Dharwad, Pralhad Joshi, and four-time MP from Belgaun, Suresh Angadi, have also been inducted into the new Cabinet. One ministerial position has got to Kerala and Telangana each. Rajya Sabha member from Kerala, V Murleedharan, has been inducted into the Cabinet while G Kishan Reddy has been inducted from Telangana. From West Bengal, Babul Supriyo and Debasree Chaudhary have been inducted as ministers of state.
From Odisha, Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi have been included in the Cabinet.