oppn parties Cabinet Expansion: A Clever Mix of Youth & Experience

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  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
  • Small saving rates slashed by the government by 140 basis points
  • The Centre says that the exodus of the migrants was stopped to save villages and prevent community transmission
  • The Centre says March 31 will remain the closing date for FY 2019-2020 and no change will be made for Covid-19 disruption
  • Tablighi Jamaat fiasco puts several states on high alert, attendees and their contacts being traced
  • Stock markets recover on the last day of the financial year, but the sentiment remains weak
  • The government says Covid-19 is still in local transmission stage in India
  • Government scotches rumours of extending the lockdown beyond April14. Says no such plan
  • Centre asks states to give shelter and food to migrant workers to stop them from taking to the streets
  • RBI cuts repo rate by 75 bps, the steepest in 10 years
  • Centre writes to states regarding laxity in monitoring people who had arrived from abroad between January and March
  • Kerala reports a spurt in new cases
  • With 124 fresh cases on Friday, the number of reported cases in India stand at 854
  • Five of a family, including a 9-month-old-baby test positive for Covid-19 in Nadia district in West Bengal on Friday
  • The Pakistani army is reportedly forcibly moving all Covid-19 patients to PoK and Gilgit
Total count crosses 1600 in India with 52 deaths and 146 recoveries on Tuesday, spurt in cases in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu
oppn parties
Cabinet Expansion: A Clever Mix of Youth & Experience

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-07-05 20:35:17

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
It is the prerogative of the Prime Minister to periodically reshuffle or expand his cabinet of ministers. It is as much to reward performers as to weed out shirkers. It is also to bring in new blood or to fill in positions vacated due to whatever reason. In India, this exercise assumes greater importance due to the calculations of caste and regional representations.

Hence, the latest expansion by Prime Minister Modi, ahead of the important polls in Uttar Pradesh, has been much speculated in the media. In the end, Modi has inducted 19 new faces, dropped 5 junior ministers and elevated Prakash Javadekar to full cabinet rank for his excellent work in the climate change field.

Inducted in the cabinet are M J Akbar (RS, MP), former editor and author and Anupriya Patel (LS, UP)of the erstwhile Apna Dal of UP (it has now merged with the BJP). The others are Ramdas Athawale (RS, Maha), Vijay Goel (RS, Raj), Rajen Gohain (LS, Assam), Anil Madhav Dave (RS, Guj), Parsottam Rupale (RS, Guj), J S Bhabhor (LS, Guj), A R Meghwal (LS, Raj), Dr. M N Pandey (LS, UP), Ajay Tamta (LS, Uttarakhand), Krishna Raj (LS, UP), Mansukh L Mandaviya (RS, Guj), C R Choudhary (LS, Raj), Subhash Bhamre (LS, Maha), P P Choudhary (LS, Raj), Faggan S Kulaste (LS, MP), S S Ahluwalia (LS, WB) and Ramesh C Jigajinagi (LS, Karnataka).

A quick look at the list tells one that out of the 19, 6 are from the Rajya Sabha and 13 from the Lok Sabha, rubbishing reports that most inductees would be from the upper house. Also, 13 are from BJP ruled states with 4 from Gujarat, 4 from Rajasthan, 2 from Maharashtra, 2 from MP and 1 from Assam. Contrary to speculation that there would be too many ministers from poll-bound UP, the PM has inducted just three from the state. The new inductees are a clever mix of youth and experience and professionals and grassroots politicians. The dalit and OBC factor has also been kept in mind for the UP polls. The best thing is that almost all have a clean image and are considered to be go-getters in party circles. The hidden hand of RSS is not overtly visible. The only thing that can be criticized is the need to have three Rajya Sabha MPs from Gujarat.

After two years, it is imperative that Modi quickens the pace of things he wants to get done to deliver on the promises he made. To do so, he needs to have a proper team in place. People have been saying that there is a lack of talent in the BJP and its allies. But the PM has found 19 new people who can be expected to carry out the tasks assigned to them with a fair degree of efficiency. The wait is now for the distribution of portfolios, where a few of the existing ministers can face a rejig.