NEW DELHI Following landslide victory of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the Lok Sabha polls on Thursday, the focus has now shifted on to who would get the key portfolios of finance, defence, home and external affairs.
Speculations are rife that BJP national president Amit Shah, who is credited with crafting the political strategy that helped the party retain its base in northern and western India but also advanced in the east, is tipped to be the home minister, a powerful post with control of security and intelligence services.
If the 54-year-old BJP chief joins Modi’s council of ministers, he would be the second-in command. Shah has earlier served as home minister in Gujarat when Modi was the state Chief Minister. The BJP president has been a close aide of Narendra Modi since they started working in Gujarat as BJP activists in 1990s.
Sources say senior leader Rajnath Singh is tipped as new defence minister.
Giant killer Smriti Irani, who defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi from his Amethi bastion might be rewarded with the post of Lok Sabha speaker.
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 leading Asias third largest economy.
Goyal, 54, 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.