Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s major cabinet rejig and induction of many prominent faces from the southern states can be seen as another masterstroke to consolidate BJP’s political southern base. The appointment of Sitharaman as Defence Minister to induction of Anant Kumar Hegde into the Cabinet, the moves look aimed in this direction. The AIADMK’s merger in NDA has been stalled for now. But the overall impression that one can take away is this is that Centre has tried to ensure the balance of political participation from the southern states which are, in fact, a major leap forward for BJP’s mission south.