Differences aside, Sushma finds a place in Modi Cabinet

Differences aside, Sushma finds a place in Modi Cabinet

Differences aside, Sushma finds a place in Modi Cabinet

Sushma Swaraj has finally made it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet and is perhaps set to find a place among the top four.

After Modi and BJP president Rajnath Singh, Swaraj was the third Cabinet minister to be administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Modi did not distribute portfolios among his Cabinet colleagues till late in the evening on Monday.

However, speculation was rife over whether Swaraj would be given the responsibility of external affairs or defence, which would then mean she would be a member of the elite Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS). The CCS comprises the prime minister, finance minister, defence minister and external affairs minister.

Swaraj, who was the Leader of Opposition in the 15th Lok Sabha, was perceived to be among the disgruntled lot after the BJP declared Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 parliamentary elections in September last year.

Known for her allegiance to BJP patriarch L K Advani, Swaraj was not happy with the appointment of Modi as chairman of the party’s Central Election Campaign Committee in June last year, and even resigned from all posts in the organisation.

Though she was re-elected from the Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh with a huge margin, her uneasy relationship with the Modi camp in the BJP initially triggered doubts over her chance of being part of the Cabinet and bagging a key portfolio.

Swaraj, however, met Modi on May 19 — three days after the counting of votes when BJP had registered a landslide victory. It is said that it was in the meeting that Modi and Swaraj mended fences and the soon-to-be prime minister offered her a key position in his Cabinet.

Swaraj started her political career in the 1970s as an activist of the BJP’s student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. She was just 25 when she made her debut in electoral politics, beating four-time Chief Minister of Haryana, Bansi Lal.