The cabinet reshuffle on Sunday has created a lot of hubbub around. So, what’s the big deal with a small rejig?
Before going further let’s just understand the word Cabinet in simple terms.
Cabinet is the ultimate decision-making body of the executive within the Westminster system of government in traditional constitutional theory. According to India’s Constitution, the PM is assisted by a Council of Ministers comprising of Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State (MoS) with Independent charge, and Ministers of State (MoS) supporting the Cabinet Ministers and others. The Prime Minister is the Chairperson of the Cabinet. This core council is called the Cabinet, with various National Portfolios being allocated to these elected representatives by the PM, at his discretion.
One must appreciate the Prime Minister’s decision to keep a lean and strong Cabinet till now, with just 45 personnel in his team, as opposed to 79 in the now defunct UPA led alliance. Truly creditable is also the fact that the heavyweights like Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad (Law Justice, IT and Telecom), Mr. Arun Jaitley (Defence, Finance) and Mr. Nitin Gadkari (Rural Development, Highway and Sanitation) could shoulder dual ministries with such muster over 6 months.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday added 21 new faces to his Council of Ministers, with four getting Cabinet rank. The new ministers were administered the oath of office, by the President, at an impressive swearing-in ceremony in Durbar Hall, in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The following are the new members of the Cabinet-
- Manohar Parrikar
He is the first IITian to become the Chief Minister of any Indian state. The former CM of Goa is known for his impeccable execution capabilities, and has been specially called upon by Mr. Modi to become a pillar of the cabinet. In his words, though still being strongly attached with his state, he will take over in national interest.
2. Suresh Prabhu
The second Chartered Accountant (\m/) to be inducted in the Cabinet after Mr. Piyush Goyal, Suresh Prabhu has long been a trusted comrade of the NDA Government in the past. His views on economy and finance would be much welcomed.
3. P. Nadda
Nadda is a Rajya Sabha MP from Himachal Pradesh and is considered close to the RSS. A master strategist and a close aid of Amit Shah, Nadda’s entry is reiteration on his dependability and ability. A tough task master, he is expected to bring in that extra edge in the Cabinet.
4. Birendra Singh
Chaudhary Birendra Singh, coming from a Jat stronghold in Haryana, Singh, has joined BJP after four decade long association with Congress. One cannot say if it’s a vote bank induction or bait for luring possible defectors.
- Bandaru Dattatreya
- Rajiv Pratap Rudy
- Mahesh Sharma
Minister of State:
- MA Naqvi
- Ram Kripal Yadav
- Haribhai Parthibhai Chowdhary
- Sanwar Lal Jat
- Mohalbhai Kundaria
- Giriraj Singh
- Hansraj Ahir
- Ramshankar Katheria
- YS Chowdary
- Jayant Sinha
- Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
- Babul Supriyo
- Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti
- Vijay Sampla
43 year old singer-turned-politician Babul Supriyo is the youngest, with former Olympian shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, at 44, being the second youngest. A prominent Dalit face, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, is the only woman among the 21 members inducted into the ministry, taking the number of women to 8, in the now swollen 66-member ministerial council.
As Wikipedia states-
“A reshuffle also provides an opportunity to create, abolish and rename departments (and ministerial posts) and to reassign responsibilities among departments. This may be done to reflect new priorities or for reasons of efficiency.”
With a view to give a wider state-wise representation and bring in new prospective, Mr. Modi hopes to make Cabinet an idea factory brimming with proposals ranging from agriculture to space, from sanitation to innovation, and from employment to literacy.
Here’s hoping acche din for the nation have begun.