The Telugu Desam Party is all set to join the Cabinet of the NDA coalition headed by Narendra Modi.
TDP president and Chief Minister-designate N. Chandrababu Naidu and Mr. Modi are learnt to have discussed the possible contours of Mr. Modi’s Cabinet and the latter is understood to have explained to the TDP president about his preference for a small Cabinet to begin with. Mr. Naidu, who was in New Delhi on Tuesday to attend the meeting of the parliamentary party leaders of the NDA coalition, called on Mr. Modi at Gujarat Bhavan.
The Cabinet could later be expanded once the performance of the ministries is reviewed and streamlined in line with the priorities of the new government, Mr. Modi seemed to have told Mr. Naidu. Though there was no clarity on the number of Cabinet berths, the TDP is anticipating that it would be offered two Cabinet rank portfolios and three Ministers of State.
The expectation comes amid reports that Mr. Modi was against putting in place a jumbo cabinet. Coupled with this was the political compulsion of the BJP to accommodate representatives of all the 29 parties of the coalition, sources elaborated.
Mr. Naidu also told the Prime Minister-designate that his party had decided to join the Union ministry as it was essential to secure adequate Central assistance for the development of Andhra Pradesh, the new State where uncertainty looms large over several issues, including finances.