New Modi government: Sukhbir Badal, Arvind Sawant to join Modi cabinet

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Updated: May 30, 2019 8:12 AM

Modi's new cabinet: Sukhbir Badal, former deputy chief minister of Punjab, is tipped to join the government.

Modi cabinet, New Modi cabinet, Shiromani Akali Dal, Arvind SawantSAD leader Sukhbir Badal (L) and Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant.

Modi 2.0 cabinet: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take oath for the second term Thursday evening. Despite BJP’s brute majority, several NDA allies will be accommodated in the Modi 2.0 cabinet. The list of BJP’s ally that will be accommodated in the government includes Shiv Sena, Janata Dal (United), Shiromani Akali Dal and Lok Jan Shakti party among others.

However, the BJP’s traditional allies may remain the same but there may be new faces from the party who will join the government in the second term of Prime Minister Modi.

Shiromani Akali Dal

Sukhbir Singh Badal, former deputy chief minister of Punjab, is likely to take place of his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal in the next Modi government. Sources close to the state’s first political family told Financial Express Online that this time Sukhbir Badal will join the government instead of his wife who was food processing minister in the previous Modi government.

Shriomani Akali Dal, BJP’s traditional ally in Punjab, could win only two seats in this Lok Sabha election. While former union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal won from Bhatinda seat, her husband Sukhbir Singh Badal won from Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat.

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Shiv Sena

Similarly, BJP’s oldest ally Shiv Sena has confirmed that Arvind Sawant will join the government instead of former union minister Anant Geete. Veteran Shiv Sena leader Geete lost the Lok Sabha election from Raigad in Maharashtra to NCP’s Sunil Tatkare by over 30,000 votes.

67 years old Arvind Sawant defeated former union minister Milind Deora from Mumbai South Lok Sabha seat by over one lakh votes. This is Arvind Sawant’s second consecutive win from Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency.

Anant Geete was Shiv Sena’s face in the union cabinet in Vajpayee government when he was made power minister in 2002. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had decided to retain him in the Modi government as well and he was given charge of heavy industries ministry.

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Former Shiv Sena member Suresh Prabhu had left the party to join the BJP when Prime Minister Modi wanted him as railways minister in his first cabinet. Suresh Prabhu had succeeded former Karnataka chief minister and senior BJP leader Sadanand Gowda as Railways minister,  a portfolio that was later given to Piyush Goyal due to several railway accidents taking place during his tenure.

Janata Dal (United)

According to reports, three leaders from JD(U) may be inducted in the Modi government as both the parties fought the election together and Nitish Kumar’s party was able to win 16 of total 17 seats in the state.

JD(U), getting three berths shows the party’s rising importance within the NDA fold despite the BJP’s absolute majority in the lower house.

Prime Minister Modi had not offered any berth in union government to Nitish Kumar’s party when it broke away from Congress-RJD Mahagathbandhan in Bihar in July 2017. Though BJP in Bihar had joined JD(U) led government and Sushil Modi was made deputy chief minister like BJP’s earlier arrangement before 2014.

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However, the BJP had offered the post of deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha to JD(U) and former journalist turned politician Harivansh Narain Singh was elected.

However, it was more of a political necessity as the BJP wasn’t in a position to get its candidate elected in case of a contest without the support of neutral parties like BJD that were ready to back a JD(U) candidate but not the BJP candidate.

According to reports, Nitish Kumar’s close confidante Ramchandra Prasad Singh alias RCP Singh who is a Rajya Sabha member and Lalan Singh, who defeated Congress candidate Nilam Devi from Munger Lok Sabha seat by over 1.67 lakh votes are likely to join the government. And the party may also nominate a leader from Kushwaha community to counter influence of Upendra Kushwaha of Rastriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), the BJP’s estranged ally in the state.

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Lok Jan Shakti Party

There are reports that Ram Vilas Paswan’s party LJP will get one berth in the NDA government. However, this time Paswan’s son Chirag Paswan was tipped to be stepping into his father’s shoes. But in a tweet, Chirag Paswan has denied these news reports.

Chirag has retained his Jamui (reserved) Lok Sabha seat as the party won all the 6 seats it contested in Bihar in alliance with the BJP-JD(U).

Seventy-two year old Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan was consumer affairs, food and public distribution minister in the first Modi government.

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