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New Modi team likely to take oath on May 30

Foreign heads of state may be in attendance; process of finalising new ministry underway.

Updated: May 25, 2019, 08.35 AM IST
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BJP leaders were divided on whether party chief Amit Shah will join the Modi cabinet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday evening and tendered his resignation along with the council of ministers. He is likely to take oath, along with his new ministry, on the evening of May 30 in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The process of finalising the leaders who will be sworn in as ministers has begun, and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners have sent feelers on the number of berths they expect.

Modi is likely to invite some foreign heads of state for his oath taking ceremony, sources said.

The PM chaired the last meeting of his council of ministers on Friday evening, where a resolution to dissolve the 16th Lok Sabha was passed. Finance minister Arun Jaitley did not attend the meeting due to ill health.

“The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, met the President today and tendered his resignation along with the council of ministers. The President has accepted the resignation and requested Shri Narendra Modi and the council of ministers to continue till the new government assumes office,” said a communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The President hosted a dinner for the outgoing ministers on Friday.

More Ministers Likely from Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka

A meeting of the NDA Parliamentary Party, consisting of the newly elected MPs of Bharatiya Janata Party and its partners, will be held on Saturday evening in the Central Hall of Parliament. PM Modi will address the gathering and then meet President Kovind to stake claim to form the next government.

Meanwhile, the process of cabinet formation has begun and there have been discussions between the BJP and RSS brass on a tentative first list of probables.

Speculation is rife about who will make it to the new team. Modi had told a meeting of the council of ministers at the BJP headquarters last week that some of them will not get another term but that the party will harness their talent — an oblique reference to them being moved to the BJP organisation.

BJP leaders were divided on whether party chief Amit Shah will join the Modi cabinet. Some of the top leaders said Shah had not given any indication that he will leave the post of party chief.

The new Modi team is likely to have four ministers from West Bengal (the last ministry had two), where BJP has won 18 seats out of the total 42. Higher representation is also likely from Odisha and Karnataka, sources said.

With the party failing to open its account in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, there could be some faces from South India as well. Party sources said the number of women ministers may go up in the new team.

NDA partners are said to be pitching for ministerial berths and plum portfolios though BJP has a clear majority on its own. JDU and Shiv Sena are likely to get three berths.
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