Narendra Modi is scheduled to travel to Japan on Saturday for a five-day state visit. In his absence, Rajnath Singh will hold the fort. He will be also chairing Cabinet meetings if the need arises. While it is not the first time that Rajnath will act as Modi's deputy, the issue gains importance in light of all the rumours surrounding the Home Minister and his son.
A formal communication naming Singh as the most senior minister who will chair Cabinet meetings in Modi's absence in case the need arises, was sent out by the PMO ahead of his visit to Brazil last month.
Saddled by this additional responsibility, Rajnath has decided to postpone his own visit to forward areas in Jammu & Kashmir, originally planned for Friday. "This is because the home minister is required to be in the capital while the Prime Minister is away," a government functionary told media sources.
There have been sporadic reports of Modi clipping Rajnath's wings, including taking away the power to appoint officers. But with Rajnath still getting the honour of the de-facto no 2 in the government, looks like all is well for now in the saffron camp.