With the BJP itself in a majority, allies of the ruling coalition are as good as in the dark about the composition of the new Cabinet and its portfolio distribution.
Three days to go before the Cabinet takes oath, NDA allies are all in the same boat as not only do they not have a say in the appointment of the new council of ministers, but they also have little clue because PM-designate Narendra Modi seems to be still keeping his cards close to the chest.
The matter has not gone down well with quite a few, who, after having sat in the opposition for a decade, now want their share of power.
Sources said Shiromani Akali Dal scion Sukhbir Singh Badal met BJP president Rajnath Singh and complained about the situation. While allies are in no position to be confrontational with the BJP, Badal is learnt to have explained to Singh that the senior leadership of Akali Dal is fielding queries from within the party and the ignorance could lead to simmering discontent.
Another old ally of the BJP, the Shiv Sena, is going to serve the BJP a list of names of its MPs to be inducted into the council of ministers. But so far there has been no discussion on who gets what. BJP source said new allies like Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP has also had parlays with the BJP leadership.
Going by the “convention” since 1989, the largest ally would send feelers to the smaller parties, seeking names and sitting on the negotiation table. This year around, smaller allies are in no position to negotiate with the BJP on its own crossing the 272 mark.