Gujarat cabinet expansion on card, may be in January

Pradeep Singh Jadeja may get rewards
Vaghani if not repeated might inducted in govt
Focus on central and South Gujarat
Central leadership waiting for HC verdict on Bhupendrasinh Chudasama

Ahmedabad: The power corridors at Gandhinagar are abuzz with word of a cabinet expansion being the next agenda for the BJP organization. However, the reshuffle is likely to occur only after the organisational structure of the saffron party is cemented, which, as of now, is a work in progress. The murmurs of a cabinet expansion were heard when Congress leaders Alpesh Thakore and Dhawalsinh Jhala left the party fold and joined the saffron party instead.

It was believed then, that the duo have shifted allegiance for securing ministerial berths, however, all speculations eventually died down as Thakore was unable to win the by-election. But the process of rejig, that might have been put on a back-burner for sometime, is believed to be gathering momentum, albeit a slower one.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Which leaders could be crowned the ministerial glory and who could be shunted out? Although no officials confirmation can be made just yet, however, knowledgeable sources in the saffron party reveal that the government expansion will take place in January and Pradeepsinh Jadeja, the minister of state for Home, could receive a “promotion” and be inducted as cabinet minister. Notably, Kunwarji Bawaliya and Jawahar Chawda , the earlier big wigs of Gujarat Congress, after their entry in BJP, were given cabinet positions and in this case senior leaders in BJP believe that despite all odds, Pradeepsinh Jadeja, who has done a good job as home minister but is allegedly facing some injustice, could be pacified by according him a cabinet berth or at least an independent charge as MoS.

Now comes the question who will be chosen for sensitive position of MoS Home, if Jadeja is moved to other department. MLA Shailesh Pandya or speaker Rajendra Trivedi could be a fair choice according to per party circles. However, there is another line of thought within the party which believes that Jadeja would continue to hold the MoS Home portfolio and would be given one more ministry as an independent charge.

Interestingly, there is an ongoing case against Bhupendrqasinh Chudasama, challenging his election and the High Court is about to announce the verdict anytime. Depending on the verdict, BJP’s central leadership will take decision regarding Chudasama and his portfolio. On the other hand by the end of this month Gujarat state BJP will get its new President and it is believed that Jeetu Vaghani will get another term as President, but in-case he is not repeated, there are strong chances of him being included in cabinet.

At state level a couple of ministers might get reshuffled or face change. In case there will be an expansion, this time the focus will be on central and Southern Gujarat .Though there is no official statement regarding the expansion but as soon as Gujarat state BJP organisational posts are filled, Chief minister Vijay Rupani might think about cabinet expansion, which, it is believed, will occur prior to the budget session in the state.