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L to R clockwise : Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Prakash Javadekar, Sadananda Gowda, Ramesh Pokariyal, Dr.Harsh Vardhan, Ravi Shankar Prasad   

Future Uncertain For Veterans As BJP Bets On Young Leaders

When it comes to axing ministers in his cabinet and chief ministers in the States over their performances, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ruthless. In July this year, Modi shocked and surprised everybody by dropping 12 ministers from his cabinet which included the likes of IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, I&B and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, and Health & Science Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. There were murmurs of protests and then came the news that some of the dropped ministers will land top positions in the party or hold gubernatorial positions. But some leaders like Minister of State Babul Supriyo felt badly insulted and decided to switch sides by joining Trinamool Congress. Will more follow as many veterans have lost hope? According to sources in BJP’s HQ, those dropped both at the Centre and States may not return to power or hold important positions in the party as long as Modi is the PM. He adds that Modi has seen their worth and capabilities, so has decided to build the next line of leaders. This exercise was evident in the recent cabinet reshuffle in Gujarat too. Scotching rumours that some of these veteran leaders may join other parties, the source said it is “unlikely.” They will remain permanent party soldiers. Is it? Only time will tell.