New Delhi: Amid speculation over union cabinet expansion, as many as 27 likely candidates are reported to have been shortlisted for the posts in central government.
The names include heavyweights Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sushil Modi, Sarbananda Sonowal, Narayan Rane and Bhupender Yadav who could benefit from the massive reshuffle of the Union Cabinet.
The new ministers in the Modi government can include former Congress heavyweight Scindia who enabled the saffron party to gain power in Madhya Pradesh. Then there is former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi; senior BJP organisational heavyweights party general secretary, Bhupender Yadav from Rajasthan and Kailash Vijayvargiya who headed the BJP relentless campaign in a bid to win in West Bengal.
BJP spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam is also reported to be considered for a central government position.
There is also the former Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal who stepped aside to make way for Himanta Biswa Sarma to take the top post this time.
Former Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane, Maharashtra Beed MP Pritam Munde, and Gopinath Munde’s daughter are said to be on the reshuffle candidates list.
BJP UP chief Swatantra Dev Singh is said to be a certainty, he will oversee the saffron party’s bid to retain power in Uttar Pradesh next year.
Pankaj Chaudhary, MP from Maharajganj, Varun Gandhi, and alliance partner, Anupriya Patel are among more the probable names.
Rajya Sabha MP Anil Jain, Odisha MPs, Ashwini Vaishnaw and former Baijayant Panda; former Railway Minister from Bengal Dinesh Trivedi are also on the list.
There is maybe sizeable inclusion from Rajasthan, including former Union Minister PP Choudhry, youngest MP from Rajasthan hailing from Churu, Rahul Kaswan and Sikar MP Sumedhanand Saraswati.
The lone candidate from Delhi is reported to be New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi.
In Bihar, Pasupati Paras who rebelled against Chirag Paswan is likely to get a central position from LJP, besides JDU nominations RCP Singh and Santosh Kumar.
Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar may represent Karnataka. Gujarat BJP President CR Patil is being considered along with Ahmedabad West MP Kirit Solaki.
From Haryana, Sirsa MP Sunita Duggal, a former Income Tax officer is also among the probable. Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal who impressed senior leaders like Union Home Minster Amit Shah with his Parliament speech in 2019 is also being considered.
The much-needed reshuffle is likely to happen soon as untimely deaths like that of Ram Vilas Paswan and Suresh Angadi along with exits of Akali Dal and Shiv Sena have led to vacancies in the central roles. Currently, union ministers are entrusted to fulfill duties in multiple portfolios due the deaths and exits.
This will be the first such expansion after PM Modi-led BJP came back to power in 2019.
(With Agency Inputs)