Who will make it to Team Modi? MPs start getting phone calls

Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah met again on Thursday morning at PM residence hours ahead of the oath-taking ceremony amid speculation about the likely composition of PM’ s team of ministers even as allies started giving out details.

As high-level discussion continued, BJP ally Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut revealed that party Mumbai South lawmaker Arvind Sawant will be part of the Modi ministry. “It is decided that there will be one minister from each ally. Arvind Sawant is Shiv Sena’s pick for minister post in PM Modi’s government,” Sanjay Raut said, according to ANI.

Another ally Ramdas Athawale of the Republican Party of India said,”I believe that Modi Ji will consider me to be a Minister. I’m hopeful of getting a phone call regarding it today. Names of Ram Vilas Paswan, Anupriya Patel and Arvind Sawant have come, I think I will also get a chance to serve the nation,” news agency ANI reported.

Athawale was the minister of state for social justice and empowerment in the previous government and represents Maharashtra in the Rajya Sabha.

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On Tuesday, the BJP’s Bihar ally Lok Janshakti Party passed a resolution picking party chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan as its representative in the Modi government, putting to rest speculation that his son Chirag Paswan may be inducted this time. The party won all the six seats it contested this time

The PM Modi-led NDA stormed to power winning 352 of the 542 Lok Sabha seats, restricting the Congress tally at 52.

PM Modi and Shah have met twice already for discussions on the government formation, holding a three-hour meeting on Wednesday after four hours of discussions the previous day on the allocation of cabinet positions.

The Wednesday meeting between Modi and Shah was followed by one between the latter and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, whose Janata Dal (United), with 16 seats, is the third largest partner in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). JD (U) was not part of the previous government, but is expected to be this time.

The new council of ministers is expected to retain most veterans and speculation is also rife about Shah possibly moving to North Block if Modi decides to induct him in the government.

Also read: PM Modi set to take oath before 8,000 guests: All you need to know

Tamil Nadu’s information and publicity minister Kadambur C Raju said there was a chance of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) getting a berth in the Modi government. The BJP had an alliance with the AIADMK in the Lok Sabha polls, but the latter could win just one of the 38 seats that were contested.

Leaders of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, or BIMSTEC, will be present at the swearing-in together with the Prime Minister of Mauritius and President of Kyrgystan. BIMSTEC member-states are Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand , Nepal and Bhutan.

Several overseas friends of BJP from 15 countries, including the US, Australia, Germany and the UK, have been invited, along with prominent opposition leaders and chief ministers.

Mamata Banerjee, who on Tuesday agreed to attend the event, did a U-Turn on Wednesday, accusing the BJP of trying to score political points by inviting the relatives of BJP activists who allegedly fell victim to violence in West Bengal

Also read: PM Modi, Amit Shah in talks ahead of NDA II oath-taking today, all eyes on new team

First Published:
May 30, 2019 13:15 IST

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