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Modi, Shah meeting ahead of swearing-in lasts for nearly 5 hours


New Delhi, May 28: BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the leaders are understood to have discussed the contours of the new government which will be sworn in on Thursday.

There is a view within the BJP that Shah may join the government after playing a crucial role in the party's return to power with an unprecedented majority. Shah has refrained from commenting on the matter.

Narendra Modi and Amit Shah

Though there was no official word on what transpired in their meeting but both leaders are believed to have discussed the formation of the second Modi government, including choices for ministerial berths and portfolios.

Sources suggested the new council of ministers will reflect the saffron party's rise in strength in states like West Bengal and Telangana. Many leaders are of the view that most key members of the previous dispensation could be retained. There has been speculation that Arun Jaitley, who held the finance portfolio in he previous government, may opt out due to health reasons but people close to him have insisted that he has been doing well after undergoing treatment.

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A number of senior faces from the outgoing cabinet including Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar and Prakash Javadekar are expected to figure in the new cabinet. As far as allies are concerned, both the Shiv Sena and the JD(U) are expected to get two berths (one cabinet and one MoS) each, while the LJP and the SAD may be given one berth each.

Many leaders are of the view that most key members of the previous dispensation could be retained. Lok Janshakti Party on Tuesday passed a resolution, recommending its president Ram Vilas Paswan as the party's representative in the Modi government.

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The AIADMK, which was also not part of the previous government, won only one seat. It may be given a ministerial berth as it is in power in Tamil Nadu and a key Dravidian ally of the BJP.


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