Reshuffle on the cards?
Fifty days of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government are over but two important parties in the NDA: the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Janata Dal United (JDU) have no representatives in the union government. So is a reshuffle overdue? Ahead of cabinet formation in May, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s son P Raveendranath Kumar and Rajya Sabha member R Vaithilingam were considered as probables in the Union government. While Kumar was the lone AIADMK-NDA victor from Tamil Nadu winning from Theni in the Lok Sabha elections, Vaithilingam was the housing minister in the late J Jayalalithaa’s tenure during 2011-16. JD(U) was offered a place in the Union government but was offended with just one ministership. At the last minute, JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, decided the party will not be a part of the government. So a reshuffle is inevitable: the question is, when?
On his way out
Former Himachal Pradesh minister and MLA Anil Sharma — who quit the BJP cabinet in April when his son Aashray contested the Lok Sabha election on a Congress ticket (and lost) — is expecting to be kicked out of the party any day. The saffron party had offered its incumbent MP Ram Swaroop the ticket from Mandi constituency, which he won by over 4 lakh votes. At a celebration function in his own constituency that was attended by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, there was no chair on the stage with Sharma’s name on it. He just left the venue. He is expecting marching orders.