New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks on Friday to form a new cabinet to tackle a stuttering economy and other challenges facing his second term after winning a big majority.
An immediate decision will be whether to keep senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley as finance minister despite his poor health, or assign Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal to the job of finance minister. The concern in the party is Jaitley’s health may not permit him to join the ministry at the current juncture.
Goyal had stepped into the role twice in the Modi government when Jaitley was ill. Goyal presented an interim budget before the election and a full budget is due after the new government takes office.
Amit Shah likely to join the cabinet
BJP president Amit Shah is likely to join the cabinet when the new government takes oath next week.
After debuting in the Lok Sabha, Shah is expected to join the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) of the second Modi government.
The CCS comprises the top four of the government — defence, home, external affairs, and finance ministers, apart from the prime minister.
Smriti Irani’s promotion almost certain
With Smriti Irani defeating Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, her elevation in the cabinet is most expected.
Rajnath Singh, who has retained his Lucknow seat, is one of the senior-most party leaders and served as home minister in the first Modi government.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to continue to be an important member of the Modi cabinet due to her work in the outgoing team. She could replace Swaraj.