The sudden cancellation by BJP president Amit Shah of his three-day trip to Tamil Nadu on Monday that has sparked speculation of an imminent reshuffle of the Union Cabinet. Speaking to Indian Express on changes in BJP president’s itinerary, a party source said, “The reason for cancellation, we have been told, is that Amit Shah is required in Delhi for discussions.” As per the report, the Tamil Nadu unit of the party had planned a grand welcome for Shah in Chennai.
The cancellation of the trip by the BJP president had come on a day that saw two factions of the AIADMK burying their differences and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam joined the Palaniswami government as Deputy CM.
Reacting to the development in Chennai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. “I congratulate Thiru O Panneerselvam & others who took oath today. I hope Tamil Nadu scales newer heights of progress in the years to come,”.“Centre assures all possible support to CM Thiru Edappadi K. Palaniswami & Dy CM Thiru O Panneerselvam for the growth of TN. @OfficeOfOPS,” he had added.
The reaction of the prime minister to the political development in Tamil Nadu had come almost a month after his reaction to developments in Patna, when he had congratulated Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had walk out of the Grand Alliance with the RJD and Congress. The BJP embraced the JD(U) quickly to leave aside more four years of bitter political rivalry.
The decision by Amit Shah to cancel his Chennai trip and the response of the prime minister on Tamil Nadu developments have added to the speculation on a Cabinet reshuffle in the Modi Government.
The Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) had last week passed a formal resolution to join the ruling NDA, hinting on the party’s willingness to join the alliance at the Centre. Likewise, senior BJP leaders suggested that AIADMK was also likely to join the Modi government.
As per Indian Express, even as a Cabinet reshuffle is the prerogative of the prime minister, some leaders in BJP suggest that an informal consultation within the party has started. Shah, who played an important role in sounding out new inductees before the previous Cabinet reshuffle last year, seems to have taken up the mantle of consultation once again.
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Amit Shah is scheduled to meet BJP chief ministers separately on Tuesday. Party chief ministers, had already reached Delhi on Monday for the conference of BJP CMs at the party headquarters. Earlier, Shah also had a meeting with Union Ministers Chaudhary Birender Singh, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, the paper added.