COUNCILOF MIN­IS­TERS

The Economic Times - - Special Feature -

UPA-II em­pha­sised in­di­vid­ual min­istries—and in­de­pen­dence. NDA’s em­pha­sis is on con­sol­i­da­tion— and Modi over­sight i n i mu m g o v e r n ment , max­i­mum gov­er­nance was Naren­dra Modi’s elec­toral pitch. At 46 mem­bers, him­self in­cluded, the NDA’s coun­cil of min­is­ters is 35% smaller than that of the pre­vi­ous one headed by Man­mo­han Singh. But given an im­mi­nent ex­pan­sion, it is likely to veer to­wards the count of 55 mem­bers the pre­vi­ous NDA govern­ment of Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee (1999-2004) had. Even so, there are dif­fer­ences in the con­text of gov­er­nance, three in par­tic­u­lar.

One, Modi has con­sol­i­dated some portfolios to en­sure bet­ter co­or­dina-

Mtion among re­lated min­istries. Two, while UPA-II di­rected ex­tra portfolios to its se­nior min­is­ters, Modi has given ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­ity to the mid­dle layer—the min­is­ters of state with in­de­pen­dent charge, many of whom are his loy­al­ists. This leads into the third dif­fer­ence: a strong PMO. A press state­ment is­sued on Tues­day states the PM is in charge of “all im­por­tant pol­icy is­sues”, sug­gest­ing close and fre­quent reporting by min­istries, a sea change from Man­mo­han’s time, where the pre­rog­a­tive of reporting rested with the min­is­ter. Call it the Modi in­flu­ence.

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