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Amit Shah To Get Another Term, Cabinet Reshuffle To Follow

While the heavyweight ministries like home and finance will be untouched, the reshuffle would see 'non-performers' being shown the door

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Amit Shah is all set to be re-elected as BJP president, probably around January 23, following which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake a cabinet reshuffle exercise, weeding out "non-performers" from his team.

With organisational elections complete in 50 per cent of states on Thursday, the stage is set for Shah’s re-election. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya told Businessworld that Shah’s re-election may be announced around January 23.

BJP’s constitution stipulates that at least 50 per cent of states complete the election process from the district to state level, before the national president is elected. The party has divided the country (states and union territories) into 37 units.

Shah, who’s been serving his predecessor Rajnath Singh’s remainder term (after he quit as party chief to be a Union Minister), will thus get a full-fledged three-year term.

He will also have a new team, following which sources say, PM Modi will shuffle his Cabinet. Those in the know say that at least two cabinet ministers may be drafted for party work. While the heavyweight ministries like Home and Finance will be untouched, the reshuffle would see "non-performers" being shown the door, say the sources.

Under Shah, the party won in four states, while it lost in two. After the drubbing that the party got in Bihar, there were reports that the RSS may like to have a greater say in the running of the party, and may want to install a "pliant president".

Shah is a Modi protege, and it’s clear that Modi has prevailed over a reluctant RSS over giving Shah a full-fledged term. Among the challenges that Shah faces are elections in the states of Assam, West Bengal and Kerala this year.

The timing of the Cabinet reshuffle is not clear yet, and such reports have been circulating for the past few months. This time round, however, the exercise is a near certainty. While there’s no clarity on the final blueprint, what is sure that few ministers who were said to have "underperformed" have consolidated in the last few months.

There were reports a few months ago that the PM is "not happy" with Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu. Prabhu, however, has well and truly consolidated his position.

He has been hailed for his dynamism, vision, and he’s also become a darling of the social media, for being a "responsive minister". There were doubts raised over the performance over Smriti Irani, too. She has, however, emerged as one of the top campaigners for the party.