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Fresh faces to adorn Modi's new cabinet
A BS Reporter | December 27, 2007 03:24 IST
With as many as seven out of the 26 ministers in his previous government failing to make it to the Assembly this time, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] is likely to induct some fresh faces into his new cabinet, which sources say could be in place after January 14 after the Kamurta (an inauspicious period) is over.
The seven ministers who lost this time are revenue minister Kaushik Patel (Shahpur), urban development minister IK Jadeja (Dhrangadhra), tribal development minister Prabhatsinh Chauhan (Godhra), agriculture minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama (Dholka), public distribution minister Chattrasinh Mori (Jambusar), Dilip Thakore and Ratilal Sureja.
Modi is likely to have a cabinet of around 25 ministers this time, say BJP sources. While former ministers Jay Narayan Vyas, Nitin Patel, Fakirbhai Waghela -- they were ministers in the Keshubhai Patel government but lost in 2002 -- are likely to make it to the final list this time, some fresh faces like Neemaben Acharya, Kiritsinh Rana and diamond merchant Nanubhai Vanani are also likely to get a ministerial berth.
While Vyas, who has done some pioneering work in the Narmada project, may get water resources, Amit Shah, who was minister of state (MoS) for home in the Modi government and Saurabh Dalal (MoS, power and finance) are likely to be made cabinet ministers in the new government as both are considered close to Modi.
He may repeat his previous choices for industries (Anil Patel), finance (Vajubhai Vala), home (Amit Shah) and power (Saurabh Dalal) considering their past performance.
"Whoever knows Modi knows that it's very difficult to read his mind. He will take into account all factors before forming the new cabinet," says a BJP leader.
He said some winning candidates were efficient but might not make it to the final list because at one point they were close to rebel Keshubhai Patel.
"The chief minister may try to do a balancing act by accommodating different castes. For instance, Purushottam Solanki, who was fisheries minister, may get a berth due to the strong backing of Koli Patels," said a BJP leader.