India’s Modi eyes top team as BJP sweeps to victory

NEW DELHI, May 16, 2014 (AFP) – The Bharatiya Janata Party’s landslide election victory will usher in a new government expected to steer India sharply to the right after 10 years of rule by the leftist Congress party. Incoming premier Narendra Modi has never been in government at national level after spending the last 13 years as chief minister of Gujarat state.

The following is a list of some of the men and women who are likely to emerge as key players in the new Modi administration:

Amit Shah: Modi’s most trusted aide, Shah is tipped to become his boss’s cabinet enforcer with a post in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Their association dates back to the 1980s when they were both part of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a volunteer Hindu nationalist organisation that is seen as the ideological fountainhead of the BJP.

A portly and bearded 50-year-old, Shah is highly regarded by Modi as a political strategist and was in charge of the BJP’s campaign in the electorally crucial state of Uttar Pradesh.

However Shah is tainted by allegations from his tenure as home minister in Gujarat, including claims that he masterminded extra-judicial killings. He denies all charges.

Arun Jaitley: Widely tip

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