‘Hello, Amit Shah calling…’: New ministers get calls after PM Modi picks his team
Several leaders of the BJP and its allies received calls from Amit Shah on Thursday informing that they would be part of the new team of Narendra Modi, who is set to begin his second innings as prime minister after leading the NDA to an impressive win in the Lok Sabha elections.
Among those Shah called at the end of his meeting with PM-elect Modi are BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari, DV Sadananda Gowda, Dharmendra Pradhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Giriraj Singh, Babul Supriyo, Mansukh Lal Mandaviya and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal, according to news agency ANI.
“I received a call from Amit Shah. He said that I should be there at-home office of PM at 5 o’clock and swearing-in ceremony at 7 o’clock. At 5 o’clock PM will have tea with cabinet and other ministerial colleagues and then we’ll go to Rashtrapati Bhavan to take oath,” DV Sadananda Gowda told ANI
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On Tuesday, the BJP’s Bihar ally Lok Janshakti Party passed a resolution picking party chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan as its representative in the Modi government, putting to rest speculation that his son Chirag Paswan may be inducted this time. The party won all the six seats it contested this time
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The PM Modi-led NDA stormed to power winning 352 of the 542 Lok Sabha seats, restricting the Congress tally at 52.
PM Modi and Shah have met twice already for discussions on the government formation, holding a three-hour meeting on Wednesday after four hours of discussions the previous day on the allocation of cabinet positions.
The Wednesday meeting between Modi and Shah was followed by one between the latter and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, whose Janata Dal (United), with 16 seats, is the third largest partner in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). JD (U) was not part of the previous government, but is expected to be this time.
The new council of ministers is expected to retain most veterans and speculation is also rife about Shah possibly moving to North Block if Modi decides to induct him in the government.
Tamil Nadu’s information and publicity minister Kadambur C Raju said there was a chance of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) getting a berth in the Modi government. The BJP had an alliance with the AIADMK in the Lok Sabha polls, but the latter could win just one of the 38 seats that were contested.
Leaders of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, or BIMSTEC, will be present at the swearing-in together with the Prime Minister of Mauritius and President of Kyrgystan. BIMSTEC member-states are Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand , Nepal and Bhutan.
Several overseas friends of BJP from 15 countries, including the US, Australia, Germany and the UK, have been invited, along with prominent opposition leaders and chief ministers.
Mamata Banerjee, who on Tuesday agreed to attend the event, did a U-Turn on Wednesday, accusing the BJP of trying to score political points by inviting the relatives of BJP activists who allegedly fell victim to violence in West Bengal