The government came out with an interesting reshuffle in its cabinet after a two month long assessment process led by the Prime Minister. It assessed every ministry, its ministers, the progress reports in all the departments, number of controversies faced by each one of them and also held a selection process that vetted all the MPs before coming down to the final 19 induction.
This detailed assessment was carried out by the trusted PM aides, in the government and the party. Top notch government officials met BJP president Amit Shah for discussions but the final call was made by the Prime Minister.
There were strict instructions by the PM to complete the reshuffle 10 to 12 days before the parliamentary season starts and also before his visit to the African countries.
People familiar with the process explained that the already present ministers and the newly selected ones were judged on several criterias.
Apart from the metrics of performance, efforts to reach out, behaviour with the colleagues, temperament, integrity, image and focus on the government’s vision of the ministers were noted.
The 19 new ministers in the government are
- Faggan Singh Kulaste
- SS Ahluwalia
- Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi
- Vijay Goel
- Rajen Gohain
- Anil Madhav Dave
- Parshottam Rupala
- MJ Akbar
- Arjun Ram Meghwal
- Jasvantsinh Bhabhor
- Mahendra Nath Pandey
- Ajay Tamta
- Krishna Raj
- Mansukh Mandaviya
- CR Chaudhary
- PP Chaudhary and
- Subhash Bhamre – from the BJP,
- Anupriya Singh Patel from Apna Dal and
- Ramdas Athawale of RPI
Some ministers also had to say goodbye to their ministries. This was due to lack of performance or the absence of any of the above listed criterias. These ministers who paved ways for new entrants were Ram Shankar Katheria, Nihal Chand, Sanwar Lal Jat, M K Kundariya and Mansukhbhai D Vasava, where all are from BJP.
Not only performance metrics but caste and vote banking calculations were also a major play in this reshuffle. Many of the new entries have worked hard for the lower caste masses in their regions. There have been notable entries from the representations of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other minorities.
The newly appointed ministers come from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bengal, Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka and Assam. Three each from UP and Gujarat and one from Uttarakhand. Where these three states will go for elections in the coming year.
Among the good performers were Prakash Javadekar, Manoj Sinha, Piyush Goel and some others. Ministries of external affairs, environment, railways, finance, road transport and power were highly praised.
Prakash Javadekar was promoted to the cabinet as the Human Resource minister, while Smriti Irani was shifted to textile ministry. Though her work in the HR ministry was notable her constant fiddle with the controversies led this shuffle. Ravi Shankar prasad was shifted from telecom to law, Venkaiah Naidu from parliamentary affairs to information & broadcasting and Birendra Singh from rural development to steel.
Now the government has 78 new ministers and according to the constitution maximum 82 ministers are allowed. The 45 minister government of 2014 which followed the promise of higher governance and lower government seems to be taking a backstep. But surely this development will signify new achievements as everyone present now in the ministry has proved themselves on one or the other grounds. These leaders are no helicopter dropouts but the leaders of the masses and the government is on its way on achieving what it had implanted in the country’s mind in 2014.