Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia fails to get ministerial portfolio, bitter disappointment

Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia
Speculations and hope by the media fraternity of North Bengal about Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia finding a berth in the Modi cabinet ended in disappointment Monday evening when the names of the cabinet ministers and ministers of state were announced in the swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi.
Ahluwalia’s exclusion has also come as a bitter disappointment to the people of Darjeeling and several political observers.
The two BJP MPs from West Bengal, SS Ahluwalia from Darjeeling and Babul Supriyo form Asansol, were widely expected to get cabinet portfolios in the Narendra Modi government.
Some political observers believe this could be a new strategy adopted by Modi and he may include more portfolios by adding new ministries.
During a press conference held at the Siliguri Journalists’ Club after he won, Ahluwalia had indicated the Modi government could set up a separate ministry for the tea industry. He had said he would take up the issue with the new government at the Centre stating the tea industry is the sole industry in West Bengal that earns the maximum revenue.
Speaking to journalists then, Ahluwalia had said, “It is up to the prime minister to choose his cabinet ministers and I will not interfere in this matter.”
The Gorkha Janamukti Morcha, along with GTA members and the Kamtapur People’s Party including its chief Atul Roy are also disappointed that Ahluwalia’s name did not figure when the Cabinet members were announced.
But at the same time, regional BJP leaders of the plains are not unhappy with Modi’s decision. Bagdogra BJP leader Kaju Rajak said, “We are happy with Modi’s decision; he must have thought several times and discussed with his party colleagues before preparing the list of his ministers. Ahluwalia is educated, intelligent and a veteran politician and I thing he is also not disappointed. He will definitely work for the welfare of the people of Darjeeling district.” (EOIC)

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