Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
With Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returning to power by winning 303 seats in Lok Sabha elections
2019, speculation is rife that Amit Shah
will join the next Modi cabinet. The party's chief strategist was fielded from the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat and won by a margin of over 300,000 votes.
Party circles feel Shah will be asked to move to the government as part of the plan to push for speedy implementation of Modi’s ambitious agenda for his second term, and is sure to get a crucial portfolio. Sources said he might get the finance ministry in case Arun Jaitley decides to take a break for health reasons. If rumours are to be relied upon and Shah quits his post as BJP president, who would be next in line to fill in his shoes?
According to a report published in Times of India, names of union ministers for health and petroleum, Jagat P Nadda and Dharmendra Pradhan are doing rounds.
BJP National General Secretary and a Rajya Sabha MP from Himachal Pradesh, JP Nadda is known as a master strategist in his party. The party had given charge of Uttar Pradesh to Union Health Minister JP Nadda in the crucial General elections.
The party bagged 62 out 80 Lok Sabha seats.
Meanwhile, Dharmendra Pradhan has proven his organizational skills in Bihar Lok Sabha elections
2014 and this time in Odisha. BJP’s vote share in the Lok Sabha polls in Odisha rose from about 21.9 per cent in 2014 to 38.37 per cent while the ruling BJD’s fell from 44.1 per cent in 2014 to 42.76 per cent. BJP’s vote share in Odisha’s Assembly polls also rose significantly from 18.2 per cent in 2014 to 32.5% in 2019.
An RSS member since his student days and a close confidante of both Modi and Shah, Pradhan is expected to play a bigger role in BJP.