Bengal BJP wants more ministerial berths

Bengal BJP wants more ministerial berths

Agency News

New Delhi, Jun 1 : Continuity with change is guiding Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he embarks on his new mission with renewed vigour for a 'New India' and the Cabinet formation reflects the same.

Even as he has retained many of his ministerial colleagues from the Rajya Sabha, in the new government, sitting Upper House members M J Akbar, Shiv Pratap Shukla and Vijay Goel were dropped.BJP's newfound Christian face from the south K J Alphons has also been dropped while Hardeep Singh Puri , Ramdas Athawale and Parshottam Rupala continue to find berth in the council of ministers.

According to BJP sources, various explanations are being given for the composition of the ministry wherein states like West Bengal have been apparently not given adequate representation.BJP West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh has reportedly complained to party general secretary Ram Lal on why the state, despite sending 18 MPs to the Lok Sabha, could get only two berths.

Sources said the expansion of the ministry could happen by December-January and a few more lawmakers from the State could be inducted.In the event, the saffron party can manage to ensure defection of some sitting Trinamool legislators in the state, the BJP is expecting some radical change in calculation for Rajya Sabha election in future.

The expelled CPI-M member Ritabrata Banerjee, Trinamool Members Manish Gupta, Ahamed Hassan, are set to retire on April 2020.At present, among the 18 Rajya Sabha MPs from West Bengal, Trinamool has 13.It was given to understand, Ghosh, who got elected from Medinipur, may not join the council of ministers as he will focus on organisational works vis-a-vis state assembly elections in 2021.

BJP sources pointed out that unlike 2014-2019, in the new cabinet, there were more Lok Sabha MPs as compared to the Rajya Sabha.BJP chief Amit Shah, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Smriti Irani who were Rajya Sabha members are now elected members of the House of the People.Of course, the Prime Minister has retained the likes of Prakash Javadekar, Dharmendra Pradhan and Hardeep Puri in the government even as Puri himself lost from Amritsar in the just concluded general elections.Among the Rajya Sabha members, Arun Jaitley, Suresh Prabhu, Chaudhary Birender Singh and J P Nadda could not make it to the cabinet due to varied reasons.
While Mr Jaitley opted out due to health reasons, Birendra Singh had also decided to stay out of active politics after his son Brijendra Singh was given ticket from Hisar constituency in Haryana.

Former Health Minister Nadda 's name is doing the rounds for BJP presidentship, no effective explanation is being given to drop Mr Prabhu, who was considered Man Friday of Prime Minister.Another Rajya Sabha member Mansukh Mandaviya from Gujarat has been made Minister of State (Independent charge) Shipping.Rajya Sabha Member from Maharashtra V Murleedharan, a former state BJP chief from Kerala, has been made MoS External Affairs.Two more lawmakers in the House of Elders, Thawar Chand Gehlot and Nirmala Sitharaman have also been accommodated in the cabinet.

In the coming months, government's floor managers will have to ensure election of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to either of the Houses at the earliest.In the run-up to the elections, BJP had assured Paswan's LJP that besides six Lok Sabha seats from Bihar, the saffron party will try to ensure a Rajya Sabha berth for the LJP chief. (UNI)