New Delhi: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his new Cabinet of ministers set to take the oath of office today at 7 PM at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, all eyes are on who gets what.
Follow all live updates on the upcoming swearing-in ceremony of PM Modi and his new Cabinet of ministers
The BJP stormed the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by single-handedly amassing as many as 303 seats, and together with the National Democratic Alliance staking claim to 354 seats in the Parliament’s lower house.
In the runup to today’s occasion of the formation of 17th Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah held marathon meetings to decide on the new Cabinet of ministers. One of the major developments in this regard was outgoing Finance minister Arun Jaitley writing a letter to Modi, urging to be excused from any or all responsibilities in the new Cabinet, due to his ill health.
In his letter, Jaitley had said: “During the last 18 months, I have had some serious health challenges. My doctors have enabled me to emerge out of most of them.”
“I am writing to you formally to request you that I should be allowed a reasonable time to myself, my treatment and my health and therefore not be a part of any responsibility, for the present in the new government,” he said.
Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut today avowed that, “From Shiv Sena one leader will take oath as a minister. Uddhav ji has given Arvind Sawant’s name, he will take oath as a minister.”
Shiv Sena is the second largest constituent of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA, having a total of 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha and another three in Rajya Sabha.
With the discourse fast enveloping the atmosphere over the oath-taking ceremony today, the contours of the big four or members of the Cabinet Committee on Security are emerging. This comes with the caveat that it is impossible to second guess the PM who always holds his cards close to his chest.
The big four will probably look like this – Rajnath Singh (Home), Sushma Swaraj (Foreign), Amit Shah (Defence) and Nitin Gadkari (Finance). Though there could be a swap between Amit Shah and Gadkari’s portfolios at the last minute.
Late on Wednesday, Rajnath Singh, Prakash Javadekar, Smriti Irani, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Rajyavardhan Rathore met President Amit Shah to confirm that they may be part of Modi’s council of ministers.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan and Narendra Singh Tomar are also likely to join the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, three-time Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is tipped to be a key member of the new Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and probably get the Agriculture ministry.
Speaking to media persons after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar convened a meeting on Wednesday, party General Secretary and spokesman K.C. Tyagi said, “It is almost certain that the JD-U will be a part of the cabinet. Who will be ministers will be decided by Nitish Kumar. What will be the number and portfolio will be decided by the Prime Minister.”