March 2016 News

Hectic Lobbying In BJP As Buzz About Changes In Cabinet

27 March 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Dinesh Manhotra

Jammu: After PDP president Mehbooba Mufti staked claim to form a coalition government with the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir, hectic lobbying has begun among the 'disciplined' leaders of the saffron party to get ministerial berths. While some leaders have rushed to New Delhi to seek the blessings of their political mentors, a good number of ministerial aspirants have thronged the state RSS headquarters 'Vir Bhawan' here with their performance reports to convince the Sangh Parivar leadership of their competence. Although there is no official communiqué from the BJP leadership on either removing former ministers or including new faces in the new Cabinet, speculation is rife about a change in the old order. 'The process to select ministers will begin only after both parties fix a date for the oath-taking ceremony,' said a senior Sangh Parivar activist who wished not to be named. 'There is a possibility of bringing some new faces in the Council of Ministers because the performance of some former BJP ministers has not been up to the mark,' added the Sangh leader. Highly placed sources said two former Cabinet ministers and Ministers of State (MoS) might not get inducted this time but the final decision will be taken only after discussions among all organisations of the Sangh Parivar. 'Within a day or two, senior leaders of the Sangh Parivar will sit together to discuss the composition of the Council of Ministers,' a source said, adding that the initial discussion in the matter was held during a meeting of senior RSS leaders with BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Friday. Two senior RSS functionaries held detailed discussions with Ram Madhav on Friday to discuss the performance of the BJP leaders who were ministers in the previous coalition. Sources in the BJP said two senior party leaders, who were ministers in the Mufti government, have rushed to New Delhi to seek the support of their political mentors to retain their ministerial berths in the new government. Vir Bhawan was abuzz with activity today as party MLAs and their supporters thronged the RSS headquarters to press for the cause of their respective leaders. Aspirants out to impress RSS BJP leaders, aspiring for ministerial berths, are busy convincing the RSS leadership, especially Prant Pracharak Ramesh Pappa. The aspirants are aware that the RSS team will take the final call on the composition of Council of Ministers. They are trying to persuade the Sang leaders about their commitment to the party and the people. All is not well in BJP Bickering in the state unit of the BJP came to the fore on Saturday when state president of the party Sat Sharma did not to accompany legislature party leader Nirmal Singh to meet Governor NN Vohra to hand over the letter of support to the PDP. Sharma refused to accompany Singh to lodge his protest. Sources said earlier it was decided that three top BJP leaders, namely Sat Sharma, Nirmal Singh and LS member Jugal Kishore Sharma, would meet the Governor but due to bickering in the party Singh went alone to hand over the letter of support. Both Sat and Jugal are tightlipped about skipping the meeting with Governor. It is believed that the party leadership has failed to arrive at a consensus on the composition of Council of Ministers and other modalities.