Speculations rife over Scindia, Sonowal getting cabinet berth

Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sarbananda Sonowal
Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sarbananda Sonowal

New Delhi: Amid growing buzz that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may reshuffle his cabinet, it has been speculated that Jyotiraditya Scindia from Madhya Pradesh and Sarbananda Sonowal, former chief minister of Assam, may be roped into the council of ministers.

Though Scindia has refuted rumours of getting a cabinet post, he has been unhappy over not being offered a ministerial position even a year after his joining the BJP from Congress.

Speculations are rife that Sonowal may be roped into the Central cabinet after the BJP replaced him as the chief minister of Assam with Himanta Biswa Sarma. Sonowal was previously a member of the Union cabinet.

BJP had discussed including its allies in Uttar Pradesh in the cabinet ahead of the Assembly polls in that State. The talks were held with Apna Dal and NISHAD (Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal) party.

Posts earlier allotted to Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, and Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janata Party have been remaining vacant. Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) has publicly demanded significant positions for alliance partners.

JD(U), with 16 MPs, has an important role in the alliance after the exit of Shiv Sena, which has 18 MPs. JD(U) has been keeping a distance from others ever since the second Modi government came to power, and the BJP is likely to keep JD(U) in good humour.

The allies are likely to be allocated portfolios taken from ministers currently holding charge of several departments. BJP is not ruling out the possibility of a few senior ministers getting drafted into the parliamentary board, with new faces replacing them in the cabinet.

Andhra Pradesh, the south Indian State next on BJP’s radar, may also get representation in the Modi cabinet.

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