New Delhi : Narendra Modi has changed the rules of the game: backed by the RSS, he has denied any ministerial berth to those “above 75.” This automatically eliminated patriarch Lal Krishna Advani, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi (80) and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha (76).
Two other former chief ministers who could not make it for being on the wrong side of 75 were Major General (retd) Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri (Uttarakhand) and Shanta Kumar (Himachal Pradesh).
Modi changes rules of the game: No berth to those over 75
Dr Joshi’s name was doing the rounds last week, but it became known only on Monday morning that he did not figure among the visitors to Modi’s tea party at Gujarat Bhawan. Modi had invited only ministers-to-be.
Nor did former union minister Arun Shourie (72) figure in the list, though he was granting interviews to TV channels at the drop of a hat and taking about Modi’s plans for a lean and trim ministry. Maybe, Modi will make him the Planning Commission deputy chairman, BJP sources said.
Dr Subramanian Swamy (74), a recent entrant in the BJP after he dissolved his one-man Janata Party, was also projecting himself as a part of the new government. After he was omitted, Swamy gave a cryptic response on Twitter: “My not becoming a minister is PM’s prerogative for whatever reason.”
Former aviation minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy was also a surprise omission, though he was considered a strong contender for a ministerial berth.
“My best wishes to the newly elected Prime Minister @narendramodi and his cabinet. I shall continue to look after party work,” Rudy tweeted.
Anurag Thakur, president of Bhartiya Yuva Morcha and son of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, also didn’t make it despite the buzz. Sources attributed his exclusion to Modi’s rule against accommodating sons or daughters of politicians in the cabinet.
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma (66), whose National People’s Party is a part of the NDA, was also in the reckoning but he too missed the bus.