The much awaited and talked about Narendra Modi’s Cabinet reshuffle took place today. The Cabinet expansion is being done keeping in mind development, good governance and upliftment of weaker sections.
A process had been set in motion for the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan at around 10 am on today. The last cabinet reshuffle took place in July 2016 in which Modi inducted 19 new faces and elevated MoS for Environment Prakash Javadekar to cabinet rank. Five junior ministers were also dropped.
Four ministers were promoted to Cabinet rank while nine new ministers took the oath. Government sources said PM Modi based his selection of new members for his team on “4Ps – passion, proficiency, professional and political acumen”, to deliver on his vision of “a new India”.
The new generation is clearly taking shape. Four senior leaders, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, have been elevated to the rank of a cabinet minister.
All the ministers that were elevated belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP has been criticized for having an inadequate bench strength to fill in the key portfolios and so the union cabinet has had an induction of professionals clearly indicating at the PM’s priorities.
The nine new ministers are –
Shiv Pratap Shukla – Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance.
Ashwini Kumar Choubey – Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Virendra Kumar – Minister of State in the Ministry of Women and Child Development; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Minority Affairs.
AnantKumar Hegde – Minister of State in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Raj Kumar Singh – Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Power; and Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Hardeep Singh Puri – Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat – Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
Satya Pal Singh – Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Alphons Kannanthanam – Minister of State (Independent Charge ) of the Ministry of Tourism; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he’s “disappointed” that despite joining the BJP’s national coalition about two weeks ago, “there was no call from PM Modi” discussing the reworking of ministries.
“This cabinet reshuffle and the one before this were only BJP reshuffles not of NDA,” complained Sena leader Sanjay Raut, alluding to other parties of the BJP’s national coalition being excluded from today’s changes.
This time, the reshuffle is extremely crucial in order to succeed in Shah’s Mission 2019 of 350 plus seats. Modi was expected to weed out any inefficiency and introduce new faces.
The decision of the reshuffle came now as the Modi team has ample amount of time before the 2019 general elections to show significant results.