There’s a clear message in the Cabinet reshuffle: It is a BJP-dominated power-structure and allies shouldn’t live in nostalgia of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee era in which they exploited BJP’s ‘coalition compulsions’ to bargain for ministerial berths. Sunday’s exercise, therefore, executed the ‘political rightsizing’ of BJP allies. With BJP in majority in Lok Sabha, not one of the over-a-dozen BJP allies was given a fresh ministerial berth. This has left some like Shiv Sena to publicly lament even as others like JDU are speculating of ‘a separate cabinet expansion for allies”.
Ahead of the reshuffle, JDU had encouraged ‘kite-flying’ about it getting one Cabinet ministry— preferably Railways, so that the party can scan for more scams left behind by Lalu — and an MoS.
But political circles feel JDU — which in the previous NDA regime had ministries such as defence, railways, agriculture, civil aviation and labour, besides NDA convener ’s post — not getting any berth is not surprising as once BJP has utilised Kumar to achieve its goal of toppling the Mahagadbandhan government, now it will be JDU depending on BJP to keep the state government afloat. Given BJP won 22 Lok sabha seas from Bihar in 2014 against JDU’s two also meant saffron party is working to reinforce its social base as was evident in inclusion of Ashwani Choubey and RK Singh in ministry.
Lalu Prasad feasted on JDU not getting ministries by saying, “one (Kumar) who betrays his own people won’t be taken in by others”. The one ally BJP keen to have — AIADMK — still being “worked on”, Nitish obviously needs to accept a junior status in this NDA.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said: “BJP-led NDA exists only on paper. Whenever BJP wants some support like in Presidential election, we are remembered…otherwise, NDA is almost dead”.
As carried in timesofindia on 4.9.2017