Speculations rife over Sarbananda Sonowal joining Union Cabinet

Former Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal is almost set to be accommodated in the Union Cabinet ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament which is likely to open on July 19 and wrap up by August 13.

Sonowal is among a few top national leaders whose names are in the discussions for the reshuffle of the Cabinet.

There are 27 positions which are to be filled and some of the ministers are over-burdened with additional portfolios.

Sonowal, who stepped aside to make way for Himanta Biswa Sarma as chief minister of Assam after BJP won a second term in the state, is likely to be rewarded with a ministerial post at the centre for his “sacrifice”, according to sources in the party.

Sarbananda Sonowal met Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah last week on the issue, it is learnt. Also, with Sarma in charge in the state, BJP has to accommodate a senior leader like Sonowal in an appropriate position outside it, to ensure there is no internal friction within the party in Assam.

Sarbananda Sonowal could be brought into Rajya Sabha to replace Biswajit Daimary, who moved to the state as speaker of the assembly in May.

While a whole list of names is doing the rounds for new inductions, former Congress leader from MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was given a Rajya Sabha berth, is on the top. With BJP preparing for UP elections next year, the possibility of new faces from the state being inducted seems to be high. Bihar, where the NDA returned to office last year, is also on the list of states to be included.

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