Cabinet Reshuffle: A Step Ahead Towards Good Governance

 

When Narenedra Modi came to power he was riding high on aspirations and he was ready to spearhead the country, take on the challenges and accomplish the slogan of “achhe din” or good governance by every means. As the Modi government completed 3 years in office survey reports show that 61 % of the citizens are happy with him whereas 39% people believed that Modi’s performance was below expectations.

In a fresh move to keep the pace of his good governance Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to revamp his council of ministers with the resignation of at least half a dozen of ministers underway.

But what we are eager to see is what is the strategy that the Prime Minister is going to apply as he reshuffles his ministers’ cabinet portfolios? Is he just seeking to fill in the gaps in the cabinet or will he add more representatives from the poll bound states to symbolize regional representation?

“A process has been set in motion for the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan around 10am on Sunday,” a top government official said. This will be the third time the government is set to reshuffle its cabinet ever since it came to power in 2014.

Speculations were rife on the cabinet reshuffle when BJP President Amit Shah intimated some of the ministers that they will be assigned election related tasks in the run of the assembly elections to be held in the states of Gujarat, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh.

So far the union Minsters who quit their positions are-Small and medium enterprises minister Kalraj Mishra, water resources and Ganga rejuvenation minister Uma Bharti, skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, minister of state for human resource development Mahendra Nath Pandey and minister of state for water resources Sanjiv Baliyan.

There are currently three vacancies which need to be filled as the former Defence  Minister Manohar Parrikar became Goa Chief Minister, Urban Development and Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu became Vice President and Environment Minister Anil Dave passed away after a prolonged illness.

What comes as a surprise is Modi’s dropping of two tough heavy weights such as Uma Bharti and Kalraj Mishra from his cabinet which could backfire if the Prime Minister is unable to find the right talent to serve these important portfolios of small and medium enterprises  and, Ganga Management ministry.

Reports said that in the impending reshuffle NDA’s latest sidekick Nitish Kumar may bag a seat in the cabinet. Nitish Kumar had quit the NDA government in 2013 but was back with a bang last month, severing its ties with the RJD coalition in Bihar.

Good news was in the offing for Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitely who was given additional charge of Defence whereas Textile Minister Smriti Irani was given the additional role of information and broadcasting Ministry.

Rumors are also on about transport and Railways Minister Nitin Gadkari assuming the additional charge for railways, in wake of railway Minister Suresh Prabhu willing to resign after two rail accidents.

During his last cabinet reshuffle in 2016 Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought in new faces in a bid to improve the performance level of the ministries. He had inducted 19 ministers, dropped five and demoted two, without any significance change in the performance status.

It is actually difficult to gauge Modi’s political implications and impact through these mid-term reshuffles. Following the reshuffle on Sunday morning Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fly to China to attend the BRICS summit.

Is the reshuffle scheduled for Sunday a political gimmick in a run up for the 2019 elections? or it’s a team strengthening exercise to deliver the promises Modi made in an attempt to fulfill them, in the 21 months left for the BJP-led NDA government. Let’s wait and watch.

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