Modi Cabinet expansion: Buzz around likely expansion of ‘Team Modi’ gains momentum | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: With just two weeks left for the monsoon session of Parliament to begin, speculation for an expansion of the Union ministry continues to escalate, whetting aspirations in some quarters while spreading anxiety among some of the incumbents.
Political circles have been thick with buzz about speculation for sometime because of vacancies and the need for tactical inclusions in view of the next round of assembly elections. But it appears to be increasingly gathering momentum with the monsoon session scheduled to begin on July 19. Expansions and restructuring of ministries are avoided when the two Houses are in session and this, though only a convention, has been followed with, perhaps, just one exception.
On Monday, the talk about inclusion of 17- 22 ministers acquired tremendous velocity.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, who crossed over from Congress along with supporters bringing about the downfall of Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, and Sarbanand Sonowal, who was made to step aside for Himanta Biswa Sarma in Assam, have been on the “wait list” for a bit too long despite leadership’s known readiness to give them their due.
BJP has also to accommodate its allies. Though a coalition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s team has only one representative- Ramdas Athawale, leader of Dalit outfit, RPI—from a non-BJP constituent of NDA after Shiv Sena‘s Arvind Sawant and Shiromani Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal pulled out because of rupture in ties and LJP founder Ramvilas Paswan passed away.
JD(U), which turned down the offer— accepted by Sena— of a solitary cabinet berth in 2019, has staked its claim for adequate representation in the team when it is enlarged. Party president RCP Singh, senior functionary Rajiv Ranjan Singh “Lalan” and Santosh Kushwaha have been discussed among possibilities. Apna Dal’s Anupriya Patel, who was left out two years ago, cannot be ignored because of the party’s need to keep her Kurmi community in UP in good humour ahead of state polls.
Pashupati Paras, who along with four LJP MPs dislodged Chirag Paswan as the leader of LJP, is learnt to be looking forward to his inclusion, an aspiration which has the support of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar who played a key role in the split of Paswan’s outfit.
Sushil Modi, former Bihar deputy chief minister, who has been shifted to Delhi and is now a member of Rajya Sabha, is seen as a “hot probable” because of his experience as well as strong reputation for mastery of facts and devotion to task. He was kept out of the state ministry when JDU-BJP alliance won last year.

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