| NEW DELHI
NEW DELHI May 26 Arun Jaitley is the only
obvious candidate for finance minister on a list of cabinet
members prepared by India's Narendra Modi, who will be sworn in
as prime minister later on Monday, two sources in the ruling
The list has not been finalised as yet, but both the sources
said Jaitley was the only one among them who had the credentials
to be finance minister. About 35 government ministers are likely
to take the oath of office along with Modi, one of the sources
It did not include Arun Shourie, another contender for the
finance minister's post, the two sources in Modi's Bhartiya
Janata Party (BJP) with knowledge of the list told Reuters.
"Jaitley is almost certain to get finance," said one of the
Jaitley, 61, is one of the top corporate lawyers in the
country and has served in a previous BJP administration as
However, there is an outside chance that Modi retains the
finance post himself with Jaitley getting some other portfolio,
another party source said.
The outgoing cabinet of the Congress party government had 70
Modi announced late on Sunday that he would streamline the
cabinet, a move to a more centralised system of governing that
is aimed at breaking decision-making bottlenecks widely blamed
for dragging down India's economic growth in recent years.
Modi said he would appoint super ministers in charge of
several departments to make ministries coordinate better.
"The focus is on convergence in the activities of various
ministries where one cabinet minister will be heading a cluster
of ministries who are working in complimentary sectors," he said
in a statement.
(Additional reporting by Frank Jack Daniel and Shyamantha
Asokan; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by John Chalmers
and Raju Gopalakrishnan)