Uncertainty over new role of ministers dropped from Modi Cabinet

By Shashi Bhushan
New Delhi, July 25 (IANS)
There is uncertainty over the new role of former union ministers, who were dropped from the Modi cabinet earlier this month, in the BJP’s organisational set up or some other responsibility.
After the cabinet reshuffle there was speculation in the BJP circle that few of them who were dropped from the Union Council of Ministers would be accommodated in the organisation and will be given key responsibilities. But after a fortnight, many in the saffron camp believe that it seems unlikely that former ministers will be given key organisational positions.
“It seems unlikely that former union ministers will be made national office bearers or given key responsibilities in organisation after witnessing the way they were replaced,” a party insider said.
On July 7, 12 ministers resigned from the council of ministers. Those who resigned are D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Prakash Javadekar, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Babul Supriyo, Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao, Rattan Lal Kataria, Pratap Chandra Sarangi and Debasree Chaudhuri.
Thaawarchand Gehlot had also resigned from the union cabinet but he was appointed governor of Karnataka.
Another party leader said that most of them, except two or three, will be unlikely to be made party office bearers.
While a dozen ministers were dropped, three BJP national office bearers were made ministers in the union cabinet. BJP national general secretary, Bhupender Yadav has been made cabinet minister, while, party national vice president Annapurna Devi has also been made minister. Besides, BJP national secretary, Bisweshwar Tudu was also made union minister.
A party leader said that one more post of vice president is lying vacant after Mukul Roy joined the Trinamool Congress.
“There are speculations in party circles that Prasad and Javadekar may be given some organisational responsibilities but not necessarily as national office bearers. Recently, the BJP asked Prasad to present the party’s stand over Pegasus snooping allegations,” a party leader said.
A senior party leader pointed out that the BJP follows the policy of ‘one person, one post’, hence few former ministers would be given important roles in the organisation in view of the crucial Assembly elections to be held early next year.
Another saffron party leader said that some former ministers will be assigned works for next year’s assembly polls in five states — Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.
Fate of others who were dropped from the union cabinet will be decided in future and those who spoke against the party leadership and party line will not be accommodated anywhere in the future.
A senior functionary said, if performance was the reason for showing doors to these ministers from the union cabinet, then it is unlikely that they will be given any key responsibilities.
(Shashi Bhushan can be reached at shashi.b@ians.in)

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