Cabinet Berths: How BJP leaders are becoming headache for Narendra Modi

By: Nairita Das
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The most well-known Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader after the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, PM-designate Narendra Modi is all set to swear-in as the 15th Prime Minister of India on Monday, May 26.

With 282 seats, Modi, who steered BJP and the NDA to a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha election 2014, began a new era of a non-Congress government with an absolute majority on its own in 30 years.

As the leader is all set to kick off his journey as the PM, people are interested to see who will get which profile in his cabinet. While leaders of BJP and its allies are busy in meeting Modi, experts are busy in preparing their dream cabinet for Modi.

Beginning from BJP President Rajnath Singh to former Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa, BJP senior leader Nitin Gadkari to leader from Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy met Modi in New Delhi. Recently, it was also learnt that a few leaders, especially BJP leaders from Karnataka, have been lobbying for cabinet berths at the centre.

Leaders Lobbying for cabinet berths:

It was reported that the PM-elect had ticked off a delegation of BJP MPs from the southern state, led by Yeddyurappa and Ananth Kumar, saying that they should stop angling for ministries and instead work to strengthen the party in their state.

TV news channel NDTV reported that Goa leader and four-time MP Shripad Naik demanded for a place in the ministry. He was quoted as saying, "We have given both seats in Goa with a very good margin. Goa may be a small state but it should get its due."

Karnataka BJP recommends 4 MPs for Modi's cabinet:

A group of the 17 newly-elected MPs from Karnataka led by BJP state President Prahlad Joshi had met Modi on May 18.

Yeddyurappa and senior BJP leader HN Ananth Kumar were among those who met the BJP's top leader. According to media reports, the state unit of the BJP had recommended the names of former Yeddyurappa, senior leader Ananth Kumar, former CM DV Sadananda Gowda and multiple term scheduled caste MP from Bijapur in north Karnataka Ramesh Jigajinagi.

However, Yeddyurappa, who represents the Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency, reportedly has conveyed his decision that he would like to work for the state and does not want a post in the union cabinet.

BJP MP Sharad Bansule, too has been awaiting a reward for defeating Sushil Kumar Shinde in Solapur in Maharashtra. He was quoted as saying, "If I am a minister, I can do more for my constituency. I am an artist, I have worked in films..."

Give Modi time to decide his own cabinet:

The former Gujarat CM, who trumpeted the "Gujarat model" of governance as an example of what he can do for the country, is known to prefer a compact cabinet. The Lok Sabha victory has boosted his spirit to do something for the country. He made it clear that he along with his team, he would work for the country and would not compromise on it. Hence, without taking names, Modi clarified that BJP leaders should not bulling for cabinet posts.

Even Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar too said, "Give Modi reasonable time to build his own team."

Leaders of BJP allies such as Shiv Sena and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) too seem to have realised that BJP has an even better mandate to call the shots. The BJP won its biggest mandate ever in the national election, taking 282 seats on its own and 336 with its allies.

Don't lobby for cabinet berth:

Even in one of the recent blogs published on Narendra Modi's website, it has been said, "This is a mandate for Narendra Modi to realize the neo-aspirations of a large swathe of the population cutting across caste, regional and religious fault-lines. It has empowered him to take India in a new direction without bowing to any kind of parochial pressures, without giving into any kind of petty piques and without indulging anybody's sense of entitlement to pelf or privilege in the next Government."

"A billion dreams and aspirations now look up to Narendra Modi. As he goes about the process of forming his government it is these dreams and aspirations that must shape and influence the composition of his team and nothing else," concluded the blog.

Minimum Government, Maximum Governance:

Known as a "dynamic leader" and for his "iron-fist" governance style, Modi is likely to have a smaller cabinet, which he could then monitor closely, say those aware of his working style. Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee also had monitored all ministries closely and Modi is also said to be a believer in 'minimum government, maximum governance'.

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