Sushma likely to be India’s next FM

Senior BJP leader more interested in Home Affairs, defence

NEW DELHI – Sushma Swaraj, senior Bhairtiya Janata Party leader and former leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, on Monday called on Indian’s prime minister-elect Narendra Modi at the Gujarat Bhawan here in Delhi, local and foreign media reported.

Some media reports suggested that the important portfolio of the External Affairs Ministry could go to Sushma, daughter of a prominent RSS member. It’s not clear if she would be willing to accept the portfolio, as she is more interested in Ministry of Home Affairs or Ministry of Defence.

Ravi Shankar Prasad or Arun Jaitley could also be named as the next External Affairs minister. A media report suggested that Sushma along with Rajnath Singh is front-runner for the portfolio of the defence minister. To avoid discontent, Modi could accommodate the outspoken lady as the defence minister and also make her a member of the powerful Cabinet Committee on Security.

Chances of former chief of Indian Army VK Singh as defence minister are low and even if he makes it to the ministry it would be as a junior minister. The position of the National Security adviser appears to be a toss-to between security and foreign policy experts Ajit Doval, a former director of the Intelligence Bureau, and Satish Chandra – a deputy to Brajesh Mishra who was the National Security adviser during 1999-2004.

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