TDP likely to get 4 berths, JD(U) 2 : The Tribune India

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TDP likely to get 4 berths, JD(U) 2

TDP likely to get 4 berths, JD(U) 2

Narendra Modi Prime Minister. PTI file photo



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, June 8

Ahead of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi’s oath-taking ceremony on Sunday, political circles were abuzz with talk of how the NDA 3.0 Council of Ministers would look like.

Though there was no official word on the contours of the new Cabinet, BJP sources did not rule out possible new inductions of three former chief ministers — Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Manohal Lal Khattar (Haryana) and Basavaraj Bommai (Karnataka).

Sources said BJP’s first-ever Kerala MP Suresh Gopi was highly likely to be made a minister, with the PM expected to reward leaders from states where the party did well — Odisha, Andhra, Arunachal Pradesh (where the BJP or the NDA won the Assembly elections) and Telangana. D Purandeshwari from Andhra, Bandi Sanjay from Telangana, former Assam CM Sarbanand Sonowal, former Tripura CM Biplab Deb and outgoing minister Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal are among the ministerial probables from the above states. From J&K, it is to be seen if the PM repeats Udhampur MP and MoS (PMO) Jitender Singh or accommodates Jugal Kishore, the Jammu MP.

Besides, all eyes on Sunday will be on the future of JP Nadda, whose term as the BJP president is ending on June 16, and top outgoing ministers Rajnath Singh (Defence), Amit Shah (Home), Nirmala Sitharaman (Finance) and S Jaishankar (External Affairs).

It also remains to be seen what role the PM has in mind for I&B Minister Anurag Thakur, who retained the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat for the fifth consecutive time this year, attaining a significant seniority in the Lok Sabha.

The sources said Rajnath, Shah and Jaishankar could be repeated with the party expected to also shift some senior ministers to the BJP organisation. Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav could fall in the latter category. Some leaders said Rajnath could also fit in the role of the NDA convener. Commenting on Nadda, the sources cited the past BJP practice of sending former party presidents to the Union Cabinet.

In the past, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath and Shah were all inducted into key Cabinet portfolios after they demitted office as BJP presidents.

Also with Piyush Goyal getting elected to the Lok Sabha, the post of the leader of the Rajya Sabha, which he holds, would need to be filled.

As far as the NDA allies go, the sources said the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the largest NDA constituent with 16 MPs after the BJP’s 240, could get four berths in the Council of Ministers (two Cabinet and two MoS).

The names of late Union Minister Yerannaidu’s son and Srikakulam MP Rammohan Naidu; Amalapuram (SC) MP GM Harish (son of late Lok Sabha speaker GMC Balayogi) and Chittoor MP Daggumalla Rao are among the probable ministerial faces from the TDP, which is yet to announce the names.

The JD(U), which has 12 MPs, could get two berths (one Cabinet and one MoS).

Former JD(U) chief Lalan Singh and Bharat Ratna Karpoori Thakur’s son Ramnath Thakur, a Rajya Sabha MP, are among the probable ministers from the JD(U) kitty.

All NDA allies will get a place in the Modi Council of Ministers, it is learnt, with one berth likely for each.

From Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena (which has seven MPs), Shrirang Barne, the Maval Lok Sabha MP, is a frontrunner. The following leaders could be likely ministerial picks from the NDA camp — NCP’s Praful Patel, LJP’s Chirag Paswan, Apna Dal’s Anupriya Patel, HAM’s Jitan Tam Manjhi, RLD’s Jayant Chaudhry and JD(S)’ HD Kumaraswamy. Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan will nominate someone for the role, with the sources saying the Sunday Cabinet could likely be a “modest exercise” with an expansion later.

TARANJIT Sandhu’s name doing the rounds

The PM will be closely watched for his balancing act in finalising the Council of Ministers. In the outgoing Cabinet, Urban Development and Oil and Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri represents the Sikh community. The name of Indian ex-envoy to US Taranjit Sandhu, who lost the Amritsar LS poll, is also doing the rounds.

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