Those looking for a message behind the reshuffle in the ousters are missing the writing on the wall. For Narendra Modi’s real team is not in the Cabinet, but the Ministers of State with independent charge. These are the ones he is grooming as his team and not one that he inherits from the Vajpayee-Advani era. For if anyone is planning on a comeback, whether in 2019 or 2024, it is Prime Minister Modi. And the people he is looking to bring back with him are Ministers of State like Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Rajyavardhan Rathore. This is the team to watch. Along with some obvious names from the Cabinet ministers, such as Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari and Prakash Javadekar.
Congress’ Team UP
So the Congress has finally announced its Uttar Pradesh team and there is no formal role for Priyanka Vadra despite all the media speculation hyped by Prashant Kishor and team. But that she will be playing a major backroom role was clear from the fact that she is in all the strategy meetings. The one who is not in, however, seems to be the master strategist himself, for in the recent meeting at Rahul Gandhi’s residence between Raj Babbar, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Priyanka Vadra, the one missing was Prashant Kishor. At that time, Sheila Dikshit’s name had not been announced.
So why was Najma Heptullah dropped as an afterthought from the Cabinet? PMO sources claim that she was not in the country so could not physically hand in her resignation. But in the world of emails that doesn’t cut ice. Plus, you have to be physically around to be sworn in and not to resign. As is what happened to Prakash Javadekar, who had to cut short an official visit abroad to be sworn in and upgraded as Cabinet minister. So then what was the real reason for the delay?