Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a marathon meeting with BJP president Amit Shah. (PTI/File)
On the eve of his swearing-in for a second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a marathon meeting with BJP president Amit Shah as he gave final touches to the shape of his government, which is likely to have representation from most allies and showcase the party's newfound strength in different regions.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's decision to opt out on health grounds has fuelled speculation about who will get the coveted portfolio with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who filled in for Jaitley and presented the populist pre-election budget, being seen as a key contender.
There is also a buzz about Shah, who has been elected to Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar and is a key architect of his party's landslide win, joining the government.
The BJP has refrained from making any official comment about the likely members of the government, with its leaders insisting that it is the prime minister's prerogative.
Senior party leaders like Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, Prakash Javadekar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan and Smriti Irani, who defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, are likely to join the second Modi government after being its members in its first avatar.
Singh also met Modi on Wednesday. Some officials of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) also met Shah on Wednesday at his residence.
The prime minister had held a long meeting with Shah on Tuesday too.
About 60 ministers may take oath.
News Nation made a list of leaders who are likely to get cabinet portfolios
Amit Shah: Shah is likely to be the Home Minister, replacing Rajnath Singh.
Rajnath Singh: Singh could be given the charge of Defence Ministry.
Nitin Gadkari: Gadkari may continue with the Road Transport and Highways Ministry
Nirmala Sitharaman: Sitharaman, second female defence minister of India, is expected to be made the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Ravi Shankar Prasad: Prasad is likely to continue as the Law Minister
Piyush Goyal: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal is likely to be the next Finance Minister, with Arun Jaitley opting out from the Cabinet citing his poor health condition.
Others who are expected to be ministers in Modi Sarkar 2.0:
Gautam Gambhir, Varun Gandhi, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Pawan Varma (JDU), Babul Supriyo, Kiren Rijiju, Anantkumar Hegde, Meenakshi Lekhi
If Shah joins the government, then JP Nadda and Bhupender Yadav are seen as top choices for heading the party. The BJP allies like Shiv Sena, JD(U), AIADMK, LJP, Akali Dal and Apna Dal are also set to be represented in the government.
Parties like Sena and JD(U) may get two berths as they are the largest constituents of the ruling National Democratic Alliance after the BJP, while others may get one berth each.
A BJP leader said the government is likely to bear the stamp of the party's impressive show in new regions like West Bengal, Odisha, North East and Telangana.
(With PTI inputs)