Kaun Banega Minister?A Call From These Two Leaders Only Way To Confirm

Sources say PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah will be the only two leaders dialing lawmakers to inform them they will be ministers.

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PM Modi and Amit Shah had a 5-hour meeting on Tuesday to discuss the possible cabinet ministers. (File)


New Delhi: 

A tip for newly-elected NDA lawmakers wondering if they will be ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second government - a phone call from one of the BJP's top two is all the confirmation they need that they are "through".

Sources say PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah will be the only two leaders dialing lawmakers to inform them they will be ministers.

Both the leaders met for five hours on Tuesday evening to finalise names of those who would be sworn in along with PM Modi on Thursday.

On Saturday, PM Modi had warned all lawmakers of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to avoid falling for rumours and speculation, and also be wary of fake calls summoning them to Delhi, asserting that "ministers are not decided on the pages of a newspaper".

At least one name from the previous government will be missing; Arun Jaitley, who was finance minister in NDA-1 has written to PM Modi requesting him not to give him any responsibility in the new government. "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," Mr Jaitley wrote in the letter that he also tweeted.

Mr Jaitley is a diabetic. His health worsened after he had a kidney transplant in May last year.

It is also not known yet whether Sushma Swaraj, who also missed office for months because of surgery and who did not contest the election, will continue in the new government.

There has been speculation about Amit Shah joining the cabinet but many in the BJP say it cannot afford to lose his organizational skills at a time the party needs to win crucial state elections ahead and raise its numbers in the Rajya Sabha.

Most ministers are likely to stay on. There may be additions from Bengal, which has been the cherry on top of the BJP's victory.

The oath ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday evening will be attended by leaders from BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) nations. The list includes Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and also Nepal and Bhutan.

The foreign ministry said all nations have confirmed their attendance.



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