The manner in which BJP leaders avoided speaking about the statements made by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut that NDA is almost dead after the cabinet expansion function only goes to show that it wants to avoid a confrontation with its ally. Most of the BJP leaders chose to remain mum over this issue. Shiv Sena expressed its displeasure over the manner in which the Modi government has gone ahead with the cabinet reshuffle. Sena skipped the swearing-in ceremony function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan after none of its ministers were given any portfolio during expansion. Sena has always been critical of the functioning of the BJP and has always attacked the latter. The party has often taken a jibe at his alliance partner through its mouthpiece Saamna.
When we spoke to BJP MP, Kirit Somaiya he said, “Our party’s spokesperson from Delhi will speak about this matter. So I won’t make any comment about it.”
Keshav Upadhyay, BJP media cell in charge said, “This matter is concerned with the centre I would not like to comment about this issue.”
Ashish Shelar, Mumbai BJP chief said, “I don’t want to make any comment about the statement made by Sanjay Raut. The leaders from centre will speak about this and I won’t comment about it.”
With an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and next year’s assembly polls Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to give a much needed makeover to his cabinet. He wants to give a facelift to the administration. Modi is giving more preference to those ministers who are performing and non-performers has been shunted out. The expansion list doesn’t not include names from the BJP allies JD(U), Shiv Sena and AIADMK. Sena is already sulking over BJP denying it a cabinet berth.
Modi’s Council of ministers were also given nine new faces as he looks to revamp his core ministerial team with an eye on the 2019 general elections. Nirmala Sitharaman was elevated as the Defence Minister. Piyush Goyal took charge of Railways Ministry from Suresh Prabhu.
The new Ministers come from varied walks of life, bringing in their unique professional perspective and proficiency to the Council. Many of them also bring rich administrative and governance experience.