Shri Narender Modi, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, Modi in total Control
The second reshuffle of the Union Council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come as a pleasant surprise to political pundits and the people.
In this expansion, which involved inducting 19 new ministers and a major reshuffle of portfolios Modi has once again stumped all media speculation by going for a major surgery instead of just an expansion to suit the requirement of Uttar Pradesh elections next year as had been suggested in media reports. The latest exercise makes it evident that Modi and his man Friday, BJP President Amit Shah have a full grip and control over the party and they have the full backing of the RSS bosses in Nagpur. Business Sphere is proud to mention that at least two major changes that have been affected had been suggested in the last issue in the story on ‘Navratnas’ of Modi cabinet. One was the controversial tenure of Smriti Irani as Minister for Human Resource Development who has been divested of the portfolio and given Textiles instead. Her role in the student unrest in Hyderabad University following the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula and the Jawaharlal Nehru University where a fake video of JNUSU President Kanhaiya was alleged to have been made by one of her secretaries had created huge embarrassment for the party. The other was Arun Jaitley who was not taking cognizance of the arrests and deaths of journalists even though he was cabinet minister of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The portfolio of I and B has been taken away from him and given to Venkaiah Naidu as additional responsibility. Here is the latest list of the cabinet with the portfolios of Ministers:
Unfortunately the most non-performing minister among the Navratnas, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, has not been disturbed for political exigencies. He is not only a former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh but was the BJP President when Modi was chosen as the Prime Ministerial candidate. Prakash Javadekar, the new Minister for Human Resource Development is the only minister who has been promoted to cabinet rank from a Minister of State. However, in the process the crucial portfolio of Environment Ministry has been taken from him and given to Anil Dave a confidante of RSS. Javadekar had recently got into the cross-hairs of Maneka Gandhi an animal rights activist when he had ordered the killing of Nilgais, elephants and a lot of wild life species in many states on the basis of complaints from farmers whose crops had been damaged. One of the welcome additions to the new cabinet is the inclusion of prominent journalist M J Akbar, spokesperson of BJP, who has been sworn in as Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs. He should be an asset to Sushma Swaraj, who has set an example by her proactive role in the Ministry, especially in rescuing stranded Indians in war zones and helping those in any kind of trouble. A surprise inclusion is Vijay Goel, a prominent BJP leader from Delhi who is also a former President of Delhi University Students Union like Arun Jaitley, Vijay Jolly and Ajay Maken. He has been rehabilitated in the cabinet as Minister of State for Sports. He had been sidelined in the party after Kejriwal decimated the BJP in the elections to the Delhi Assembly. Incidentally, Goel was the Minister for Sports, Youth and Parliamentary Affairs in the cabinet of Atal Behari Vajpayee from 1999 to 2004. Currently a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan, his inclusion is being seen as a bid to counter Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who projects himself as the biggest opponent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the country. Yet another winner in this reshuffle is Piyush Goyal, who now gets independent charge of the Ministry of Mines in addition to Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy that he was handling earlier. And of course the UP factor remains important. With the inclusion of Krishna Raj, Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal and Mahendra Pandey , 78 mamber cabinet of Modi now has 16 ministers from the state that sent 71 MPs plus two from Apna Dal to the Lok Sabha in 2014.
P M Narendra Modi shows he is the Boss
M J Akbar
Smriti Zubin Irani