Cabinet calculations keep Rajasthan BJP camp busy

Rajasthan BJP leaders are still dizzy with excitement over the massive victory in the Lok Sabha elections, and speculations are being made over who will get a ministerial berth in the Narendra Modi Cabinet.

According to top leaders, even if Modi devises a new formula to allot Cabinet berths, local MPs representing major castes in the state cannot be ignored, like earlier governments.
Local leadership is confident that the new Cabinet will have at least one Jat leader from Rajasthan. The community is politically active and constitutes 20 per cent of state population.

At least, six Jat MPs have won the election but Jhalawar MP Dushyant Singh, son of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Barmer MP Sona Ram and Sawar Lal Jat from Ajmer are seen as three top contenders for the ministerial berth. Besides being a Jat leader, Dushyant Singh has obvious qualifications for being a forerunner. Be it the Vajpayee-led NDA government or the UPA 1 and 2, Jat leaders have always held ministerial posts in the Centre in recent days.

Bhupendra Yadav and O M Mathur, Rajya Sabha MPs from Rajasthan, are the two surprising names doing rounds in the party circle. The two are seen as being close to Modi and have played important role in the Assembly and parliamentary elections in Rajasthan and Gujarat. While Yadav managed the election campaign and Suraj Sankalp Yatra in Rajasthan, Om Mathur was in charge of Gujarat and worked hand in glove with Modi. Even if they do not get a Cabinet berth, they will surely get key posts.

Bureaucrats-turned-MPs Arjun Meghwal and Harish Chand Meena, who belong to SCs/STs, are likely to be part of the new government sooner or later as no government has ignored the community.

Jaskaur Meena and Namo Narayan Meena have enjoyed ministerial berths in Vajpayee and Manmohan governments, respectively. The Rajput community has been BJP’s traditional support base since the days of the Jan Sangh and Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

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