Sunday, 3 September 2017

Modi's cabinet reshuffle

  • In today's Modi's cabinet reshuffle includes 9 new ministers inducted, dropping 6 ministers citing under performance or age & health and 3 existing vacancies.
  • The talk is that Dattatreya after resigning complained to RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat on telephone. Bhagawat seems to be unhappy with Modi for easing out RSS pracharaks from cabinet and including ex-officials.
  • Earlier Uma Bharti refused to resign on poor performance grounds and suggested PM could dismiss her. And Modi retained her.
  • Nitin Gadkari declined Railways portfolio, where Suresh Prabhu offered to quit after a series of accidents and deaths.
  • It was BJP's reshuffle in NDA cabinet while allies in the cabinet remain untouched.
  • It was a blind reshuffle and both performers and under performers getting their portfolios changed.
  • For Nirmala Sitharaman, who held the independent charge of the commerce and industry ministry elevated to Cabinet rank and inducted into the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) by virtue of her appointment as the Union defence minister. 
  • Sitharaman is technically the second women to hold the defence portfolio, but for former prime minister Indira Gandhi, defence was an additional charge. Sitharaman is India's first full-time woman defence minister.
  • Nirmala Sitharaman joined the BJP in 2006 and was a part of a team of six spokespersons headed by Ravi Shankar Prasad, for BJP prior to joining Narendra Modi's ministry in May 2014. It was during her stint at National Commission for Women between 2003-05 that she came in contact with Sushma Swaraj who sounded Nirmala out for a role in BJP. Her mother-in-law was a Congress MLA in Andhra Pradesh, while her father-in-law was a Minister in the Andhra Pradesh Congress Govt in 1970s.
  • Suresh Prabhu offering to quit Railway Ministry on moral grounds after a spate of train accidents and deaths but sticking on with change of portfolio is deeply immoral.
  • Not but the least, clearly BJP lacks talented people to hole ministerial portfolios. 

If performance is the criterion for retaining ministerial positions, the first man to exit would have been Modi him self who brought booming economy to its pre-2014 levels, worst unemployment levels, deeply distressed agriculture etc which costed UPA the power in 2014. Along with him would have been FM Arun Jaitley. In the recent past UP CM Yogi Adityanath should have taken moral responsibility for death of 300 children in Gorakhpur hospital due to negligence & corruption and Haryana CM ML Khattar for mismanaging riots consequent to Dera Baba Ram Rahim Singh's conviction leading to at least 30 deaths and large scale property destruction. Modi would have done a wonderful thing by bringing Raghu Ram Rajan as Finance Minister. Alas no great things by small men. And rules are meant for others to follow, not for self.

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