Cabinet may get 19 more ministers
The expansion of the Union cabinet, with the induction of 19 ministers of state, is expected to reflect PM Narendra Modi’s economic and development priorities outlined in the Budget as well as political goals such as reaching out to Dalits ahead of crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh due early next year.
In an interaction with mediapersons on Monday , Modi described the exercise, which will see six MoSs being dropped, as an “expansion“, suggesting that the size of his ministry will increase from the current 64 which is well below the cap of 83 ministers, or 15% of the strength of the Lok Sabha.He said the exercise could be expected to reveal a focus on key Budget objectives.
Significantly , Shiv Sena will not figure in the second expansion of Modi’s ministry despite indications that its tensions with BJP may have begun to heal, something which political circles attributed to continuing divergence between the two sides over what rank, Cabinet or MoS, should Anil Desai, widely tipped to be Uddhav Thackeray’s nominee, get.
Except for Anupriya Singh Patel, all the additions will be from the BJP. Even Patel is expected to merge her Apna Dal with the BJP before taking oath as a minister of state. The expansion is expected to be accompanied by some exits with ministers of state Ram Shankar Katheria, Nihal Chand, Sanwar Lal Jat, Mansukh Vasava, Mohan Kundaria and G M Siddheshwara likely to be dropped. A few of those who are on their way out, especially Katheria, may be drafted in the BJP organization which is due for a recast.
Those to be sworn in on Tuesday include five from the SCs, two from the STs, two from the minorities and two women.They hail from UP , Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bengal, Maharashtra, MP , Delhi, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Assam.
Sources said the framework set out by the PM aims to select “doers and performers“ who can deliver on his vision of development and good governance that has a “gaon, garib, kisan (village, poor, farmer)“ focus.
The selection, it is claimed, comes after an exhaustive vetting and selection process and marks a departure from frequent changes based on the more usual calculations of caste and religion. According to sources, the criteria for selection of ministers include professional expertise with inductees including P P Chaudhary , a senior Su preme Court advocate; Subhash Ram Rao Bhamre, a well known doctor; author and acclaimed jour nalist M J Akbar; former Rajasthan officer Arjun Meghwal and Anil Madhav Dave who is a keen Narmada river conservationist.
Experience in government has also counted with leaders like Ramesh Jigajinagi, Purshotam Rupala, Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor and Mahendra Nath Pandey having held ministerial assignments in Karnataka, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
Some ministers to be sworn in have experience in central government such as Faggan Kulaste and Delhi leader Vijay Goel. Younger faces are also being inducted with MPs like Anupriya Patel who studied at Delhi’s Lady Shriram College and is an MBA, and Mansukh Mandaviya, who has headed the Gujarat agro-industries corporation.
Political veterans on the list include S S Ahluwalia, MP from Darjeeling, and Assam leader Rajan Gohain besides Kulaste, Jigajinagi and Goel. Inductees like Pandey , Bhamre and C R Chaudhary have strong academic backgrounds. Social diversity is served by SCs, minority and women leaders.
eenadu news paper 05-07-2016 : http://epaper.eenadu.net