Only after mastering the regional politics with absolute aplomb, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Modi braving all odds reached a position where he is just few days away from leading the nation, according to exit polls.

Modi has time and again acknowledged and appreciated the efforts put in by BJP Chief Ministers to bring the NDA on the threshold of forming government at the Centre.

So is it safe to say that BJP Chief Ministers like Manohar Parikkar (Goa), Shivraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh),  Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh) and  Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan) will play all-encompassing roles in a Modi-led Cabinet?  The trends and Modi’s affection towards regional heavyweights do suggest so.

Parikkar is already being touted as the next Home Minister in Modi's Cabinet. Parikkar not only enjoys the trust of Modi but is also seen in the political circles as a man of integrity and a symbol of development.  The former IIT-Bombay graduate has a spotless reputation and has proved his administrating mettle by effectively ruling the tiny state of Goa.

Another on the list is Shivraj Singh Chauhan, who is not only an astute politician but also a proven administrator.

Once ballyhooed as an alternative to Modi as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Shivraj through his resourceful guidance has managed to turn the fortunes of an under-developed state like Madhya Pradesh, which sends 29 MPs to the Parliament.

Shivraj also provided the BJP with a more than sufficient substitute to the party’s strongest leader in the state – Uma Bharti.  The party decided to bet on Shivraj in Madhya Pradesh only after getting tired of Bharti’s eccentric theatrics, which had more than often landed the saffron party on a sticky wicket.

Whether Shivraj would get a Cabinet berth or not, it remains to be seen but there might a strong case for him, especially considering the vociferous manner in which Modi has spoken against the accumulation of power at one centre i.e. Delhi.

Vasundhara Raje emerged as the strongest regional leader in BJP during last year’s assembly elections in Rajasthan as she guided the saffron party to thumping clean sweep in the state.

The BJP has seemed to realize the might of Raje after once trying to clutter her wings and send her in the oblivion in the past (2009).

However, Raje enormously resurrected her political career by single-handedly decimating the Congress in Rajasthan.

Her growing stature in the saffron camp can be adjudged by the fact that she is often held responsible for denying Lok Sabha ticket to senior party leader Jaswant Singh from Barmer seat.

There are often whispers in the political circles that Raje was never comfortable with the presence of such a stalwart in her state as she feared there could be dual-center of powers in the state.

Hence, she sketched the entire plan to weigh down Singh’s importance in the party with apposite assistance from party president Rajnath Singh.

Senior party leader Joshi disapproved of the treatment meted out to Singh by the party, which in a way is favorable to Modi’s scheme of suppressing the old veterans ‘clout in the party.

Raman Singh is another regional heavyweight who is expected to play a central role in Modi’s Cabinet.

Raman Singh’s closeness to Modi and the good work done by him in his state are some of the logical rationale that back his candidature for a significant role in the next Cabinet.

Whether these dexterous BJP Chief Ministers would be ready to leave the cozy regional thrones to face the sweltering heat of national politics, it remains to be seen.

However, one thing is for sure that with Modi becoming the next Prime Minister, regional heavyweights in BJP would have a much bigger say in the national politics – something which bodes well for the democratic structure of our country.

Modi has been constantly bragging about his Gujarat model of development in front of the country and it is not completely unfathomable to see several BJP Chief Ministers playing momentous roles in the next Cabinet, especially as the Gujarat Chief Minister prepares himself and the party to embark on a new era of young and dynamic leaders, moving on from the clutches of old-guards.

(Harshdeep Singh/JPN)

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