PM’s team: Coalition considerations influence choices - The Tribune India

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PM’s team

Coalition considerations influence choices

PM’s team

Prime Minister Narendra Modi - File photo

AT the helm of a genuine coalition government for the first time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is heading a 72-member Union Council of Ministers, which has been formed after taking several factors into consideration — experience, youth, caste matrix, upcoming Assembly polls and representation of the BJP’s partners in the NDA. The PM’s team includes 30 Cabinet ministers, four of whom are from Bihar. This is no surprise as the BJP has three important allies in that state — CM Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas). Two allies in southern states, Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party and HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal (Secular), have also got one Cabinet berth each.

Among the first-timers are three former chief ministers — Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana) and Kumaraswamy (Karnataka); Suresh Gopi, the BJP’s first Lok Sabha MP from Kerala, has also made the grade. Over 40 ministers are from Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. This is significant in the light of the poll reversals suffered by the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, where the Samajwadi Party made major gains on the back of its outreach to the ‘PDA’ — Pichhra (backward), Dalit and Alpsankhyak (minorities). Maharashtra and Haryana, which go to the polls later this year, have a noticeable presence in the Council of Ministers.

The induction of former Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu as a Minister of State shows that the BJP is keen on staging a revival in Punjab after its disastrous performance in the recent Lok Sabha polls. The party contested all 13 seats but drew a blank, with Bittu losing from Ludhiana. It is apparent that the BJP is looking to groom this relatively young leader with an eye on the 2027 Assembly elections. All in all, the BJP has performed a delicate balancing act. 

#BJP #Narendra Modi

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