After thumping election win, Narendra Modi cabinet likely to have many new faces. Team Modi 2.0 is likely to be different from the outgoing team with some of the old faces either retiring from politics due to health and other factors or being replaced by a younger lot.
Home Minister, Amit Shah?
It is widely believed that after the BJP’s stunning election victory, the party chief and political strategist Amit Shah, who has made his debut in the Lok Sabha, will earn his reward in the form of a high-profile ministry.
Since there’s unlikely to be any official word on this, it’s only speculation that is doing the rounds. Amit Shah is being talked about as a potential home minister which will give him control of security and intelligence services.
Is change coming?
According to reports, the new council of ministers is likely to be different from the earlier one with some of the old faces either retiring from politics due to health and other factors or being replaced by a younger lot.
Plus, leaders from states like West Bengal, where the BJP has made inroads and hopes to do well in future (assembly polls in the state are due in 2021), could be rewarded with a berth in the ministry.
What's in kitty for allies?
While the BJP doesn’t need outside support, some NDA allies are likely to figure in the cabinet, especially since the Lok Sabha polls may be over but the next round of assembly polls isn’t too far.
Party sources said at least four of the 18 BJP MPs from West Bengal are likely to get ministerial berths in the next Modi team. West Bengal’s Babul Supriyo and SS Ahluwalia were ministers in the last Cabinet. Both have won this time too.
Who gets what?
Sushma Swaraj is not a member of any House (she did not to contest Lok Sabha polls) so it’s not clear if she would continue in office, though she can become a Rajya Sabha member and be a minister.
It is speculated that Nirmala Sitharaman may replace Swaraj as the foreign minister. Smriti Irani, who defeated Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, and Nitin Gadkari, who has been one of the best performing ministers, are expected to continue.
The post of India’s top bureaucrat, the Cabinet Secretary, will fall vacant June 14 as PK Sinha’s term comes to an end (he has already got two extensions).
According to this Business Standard report, home secretary Rajiv Gauba is a strong contender. Talk of a new national security adviser, if Ajit Doval moves out for another crucial role, is also gaining momentum and former foreign secretary S Jaishankar could be considered, says the report.