New Delhi: Is all not well in the Narendra Modi government as well as in the BJP? This question is being raised in the political circles these days for two reasons. One, the much-awaited Cabinet expansion of the Modi government continues to be shrouded under uncertainty for quite some time now. Two, the announcement of BJP chief J.P. Nadda’s new team has also been deferred time and again over the past few months.
At the same time, what has made matters worse is key BJP leaders such as Home Minister Amit Shah falling ill due to corona infection. Shah, who had been cured of the disease, had to be rushed to AIIMS again due to some medical complication. Shah is the pivotal figure in the party as well as in the government. As a result, all these happenings are a cause of concern for the party. However, in what is a welcome development, Shah is said to be fine now.
Former BJP chief and Home Minister Shah is said to be the trouble-shooter of the party. He has to his credit several outstanding decisions related to the party matter and government affairs.
His role was quite important in abrogation of Article 370. BJP leadership looks forward to Shah for any key decision in terms of organisation. It is said Shah has given his nod to the new team of Nadda, but it is yet to be announced.
Political observers question why the picture is not clear on Cabinet expansion and Nadda’s new team and why a final word is not coming out.
The new BJP team under the leadership of J.P. Nadda was scheduled to be announced in March this year, but it was postponed due apparently to the pandemic.
Then it was decided that the new team would be announced by 25 June, after which Cabinet expansion was to take place. But nothing like that happened. According to sources, the announcement of a new team is being deferred due to state leaders. The party wants some leaders from Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar to be in the organisation at the Central level. But state leaders are not ready, as some of them are keen to be accommodated in the Cabinet, and some want to remain in state politics.
After “Operation Lotus” came a cropper in Maharashtra and Rajasthan, the BJP high command wanted Devendra Fadnavis and Vasundhara Raje to be in the organisation in Delhi. But both of are reluctant to come to Delhi. Sources say that some ministers in MP are to be shifted to Delhi, but a final call in this regard will be taken after the bypoll results.
Similarly, some MPs and a few ministers in Uttar Pradesh are being offered party posts at the Central level, but they all want ministerial berths. As a result of these hurdles, indecision continues to be there on Cabinet expansion and the BJP’s new team formation.
Sources say the high command does not want to take any step which affects the politics in the states. Bihar is going to the polls in the next few months, and polls in Uttar Pradesh are to be held in 2022. Some of the party leaders are said to be unhappy with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh. The high command wanted these leaders to come to the Central party organisation, but they have refused. The BJP leadership cannot shift Vasundhara Raje to Delhi without her consent, given the clout she commands in the desert state. She has consolidated her position all the more after the BJP got a setback during Rajasthan political crisis.
With all this in view, it seems BJP would be able to do something new in the New Year only. Prime Minister Modi and his party BJP are sticklers to Hindu traditions and Hindi calendar, according to which “Pitrapaksha” is in September when no new work is done. This will be followed by Parliament session and the Bihar elections in October-November. So, there is a strong possibility of PM Modi and BJP announcing their expanded teams in the New Year.