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Narendra Modi's cabinet favours Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh: Is BJP focusing on assembly polls ahead?

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 - 2:02pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

Narendra Modi, post his landslide win in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections has finally ascended to the much coveted prime ministerial position. The swearing-in ceremony yesterday saw not only the rise of the BJP leader to power, but also the appointment of his cabinet.

Although some names were an obvious pick, like Arun Jaitley,Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj, there were also newcomers which included names like Kiran Rijiju, MP form Arunachal Pradesh. 

Many have analysed as to on what basis the candidates were selected and what kind of statement is the BJP making with their current Union Cabinet. 

Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra got the highest representation with 9 and 6 berths each. Both being significant moves in the BJPs favour. UP which had always been a safety net for the Congress was completely wiped up by the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. This expansion of the BJP in UP seems to have been taken duly into consideration as has Maharashtra where the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance won 39 seats. However, from Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena despite its successful alliance with the BJP was rewarded solely with one seat given to Anant Geete. Although, Geete has been quoted as having said that more ministers from the Shiv Sena will be included when the Cabinet is expanded. 

Another point to note is that Maharashtra is going to the polls this year and considering there isn't much of a difference between the number of Lok sabha seats pulled by the Shiv Sena and BJP, by keeping five out of six Union Ministers from the BJP, the party seems to have its eye on the Assembly Polls ahead, looking to keep it's awe inspiring momentum as it strives to bring the entirety of the nation under its banner. 

Considering this, there has being in stark contrast with regards to Rajasthan, Cabinet post was given only to Nihal Chand Meghwal as a Minister of State, despite the state having won all 25 seats on the BJP's ticket. The state's assembly elections were last held in 2013 where the BJP had already won 163 out of 200 seats, whereas in Maharashtra's last assembly elections in 2009, the Congress won a majority of 82 seats versus the BJP's 46. 

This doesn't solely apply in the state of Maharashtra, but also to the state of Haryana which accounts for 10 Lok Sabha seats out of which 7 were won by the BJP, was given two seats by way of Indrajeet Singh and Kishanpal Gujjar as Minister of State with independent charge and Minister of State respectively. Even here assembly polls are said to have been scheduled for December this year as the Assembly's tenure expires on October 27, 2014. 

Again in Haryana's last Assembly election, the BJP won just four seats as opposed to the Congress' 40 and the Indian National Lok Dal's 31. 

Even Modi's 'Look East' Minister Rijiju comes from a state where the last legislative assembly resulted in the Congress winning a majority.

This does throw into serious question whether the BJP is looking to obliterate the competition completely by winning as a majority not only in the Centre but also in the individual states. And if this does succeed considering the Congress was reduced to abysmal numbers in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, there is always the question of whether the nation will then be led by a very singular ideology with not enough number even for a viable opposition.

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