Com­pact Team for March to Good Times

The coun­cil of min­is­ters bears Modi’s stamp

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

The new coun­cil of min­is­ters has the stamp of author­ity of In­dia’s 15th Prime Min­is­ter, Naren­dra Modi. It is com­pact and busi­nesslike, and firmly ex­cludes to­ken rep­re­sen­ta­tion ex­cept in the case of the BJP’s al­lies in the rul­ing coali­tion, the Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance. Obei­sance to se­nior­ity has been given a miss. Mus­lim rep­re­sen­ta­tion has been achieved through a po­lit­i­cal light­weight from the past. States that have con­trib­uted mas­sively to the BJP’s vic­tory in the elec­tions have more min­is­ters (Ra­jasthan is a sur­pris­ing omis­sion from the Cab­i­net). Some other large states, such as Ben­gal and Ker­ala, go al­to­gether un­rep­re­sented. Modi be­lieves po­lit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion is of the col­lec­tive, not of any par­tic­u­lar sec­tion. Nor has he al­lowed any rule to dic­tate his choice of min­is­ters: those de­feated in the elec­tions have made it, for ex­am­ple, Arun Jait­ley and Sm­riti Irani, as have those who are not yet mem­bers of ei­ther House, like Nir­mala Sithara­man and Prakash Javadekar.

The coun­try gets a new clutch of min­is­ters, some who have proved their met­tle, serv­ing in the A B Va­j­payee govern­ment. Arun Jait­ley brings to fi­nance an ag­ile mind and will­ing­ness to take in­puts from ex­perts. Sushma Swaraj is an able leader ca­pa­ble of run­ning any min­istry with com­pe­tence. Ra­j­nath Singh takes charge of Home, a min­istry that re­flects his se­nior­ity in the party. Nitin Gad­kari had ex­celled as a min­is­ter in the Ma­ha­rash­tra govern­ment. But, un­der Modi’s lead­er­ship, the will to achieve is ex­pected to be taken as a mat­ter of course, rather than a mat­ter of in­di­vid­ual flair.

The shrink­ing of the coun­cil of min­is­ters from the UPA’s 71 to 45 has been achieved by club­bing some min­istries to­gether and by giv­ing some min­is­ters charge of mul­ti­ple min­istries. Some prun­ing of min­istries is in­deed de­sir­able, as also club­bing of de­part­ments that have syn­ergy un­der one min­is­ter. But for this to trans­late into max­i­mum gov­er­nance, ef­fec­tive co­or­di­na­tion has to be in­sti­tuted. We hope this will hap­pen and that the new govern­ment will give the econ­omy new dy­namism.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.