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.