Thursday will officially bring to a close the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Narendra Modi will be sworn in at 7 pm at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for a second consecutive term as Prime Minister of India, along with his Union Council of Ministers.
All eyes are now on who has made it to the final list of MPs who will take the oath as a minister on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah met for nearly four hours at the 7 Lok Kalyan Marg residence to give final touches to the much-anticipated list.
Sources indicated that Amit Shah could continue in the BJP as national president for sometime before being inducted into the Union Council of Ministers.
On Tuesday, Amit Shah and PM Narendra Modi met for 4.5 hours before going back for consultations with their allies.
The big question being asked is who will be the country’s next finance minister.
On Wednesday, Arun Jaitley, who held the portfolio, wrote to the Prime Minister and opted out of the race because of health reasons.
The letter read, “I am writing to you to formally request you that I should be allowed a reasonable time for myself, my treatment and my health, and therefore, not be a part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government”.
Arun Jaitley, however, said that he will be available to informally support the government and the party, as required.
Despite Arun Jaitley recusing himself from any formal responsibility, Narendra Modi paid him a surprise visit on Wednesday evening at his residence.
After a meeting between the two leaders, which lasted for around twenty-five minutes, it wasn’t still clear what was discussed.
Further, allies kept their fingers crossed as well. Bihar Chief Minister and JDU chief Nitish Kumar met Amit Shah on Wednesday morning.
It is likely that JDU will get two ministerial berths in the Union Council. While Shiv Sena demanded four berths, it is likely to get only two.
Apna Dal’s Anupriya Patel will be inducted into the Union Council of Ministers, while Shiromani Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Badal will make a comeback into the council.
Further, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ram Vilas Paswan and Republican Party of India’s Ramdas Athawale might also be inducted into the Union Council of Ministers.
States that will be rewarded well are likely to be West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana and the North-East. Poll-bound states like Haryana and Maharashtra could also stand to gain in Modi Sarkar 2.0
Meanwhile, hectic parleys continued at Amit Shah’s residence in the evening. Narendra Singh Tomar, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Piyush Goyal were among those seen driving in.
At the time of publishing this copy, calls were yet to be made to those joining the Union Council of Ministers.
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Nripendra Mishra, and Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, PK Mishra, too reached Amit Shah’s residence, where they spent close to two hours.