BJP parliamentary party to elect Modi on Tuesday

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Speculation begins in BJP circles on the probables in the new Union Cabinet

A day after receiving a colossal mandate in the general election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday announced its plan to nominate Narendra Modi as leader of its parliamentary party on Tuesday.

The party’s Central Parliamentary Board meeting made the decision. “We will then decide the date for the oath-taking ceremony of the new Prime Minister and the Union Cabinet,” BJP president Rajnath Singh said. The party will soon pick a new legislature party head for Gujarat to replace Mr. Modi.

As the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance moved ahead with the process of government formation, speculation began in party circles on the probables in the new Union Cabinet. Sources said E. Sreedharan, architect of the Delhi Metro rail network, may get a ministerial berth.

Mr. Modi is likely to opt for a small Cabinet of 15-20 ministers to begin with and go for expansion later. The party will also have to find suitable slots for party patriarch L.K. Advani, and senior leaders Murli Manohar Joshi and Sushma Swaraj.

Sources said Mr. Modi would have to meet the expectations of party MPs from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, where the BJP has won almost all seats, when he embarks on government formation.

The party’s ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has given Mr. Modi a free hand to choose his team. Hailing the poll verdict as “decisive,” a resolution passed by the BJP Parliamentary Board noted that for the first time since Independence, a non-Congress political party had a majority on its own.

“The NDA has got an overwhelming mandate to govern. India needs a government which is effectively led and which can put the country’s economy on the growth track, make it secure and provide a government in accordance with the highest standard of probity,” the resolution said.

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