From a former home secretary to a top retired diplomat, a former Mumbai police commissioner to a retired Army chief, nearly 10 per cent of Narendra Modi’s council of ministers is made up of former bureaucrats or ex- servicemen. With the induction of Raj Kumar Singh, Hardeep Singh Puri, Satyapal Singh and Alphons– the number of former bureaucrats and ex-servicemen in the Modi government has risen to seven. Today’s exercise saw the strength of the Union Council of Ministers go up to 76.
The reliance on bureaucrats in his ministry, prompted the Congress to take a dig at the prime minister, saying it showed he did not trust his political colleagues. Incidentally, all seven are ministers of state.
The other three ministers from bureaucratic or military background are former Army chief Gen. (retd) V K Singh, Col. (retd) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Arjun Ram Meghwal, a former IAS officer from Rajasthan. V K Singh, the Lok Sabha MP from Ghaziabad, is an MoS in the External Affairs ministry.
Former Olympian trap shooter Rathore is MoS with independent charge of Sports and Youth Affairs ministry. He also holds the charge of MoS in Information and Broadcasting ministry.
Meghwal is MoS in the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Among the four, Hardeep Singh Puri and Alphons Kannanthanam are not the Members of Parliament. They have to get elected to either of the two houses of Parliament in the next six months.
A former IAS officer of 1979 batch, Kannanthanam has been made the MoS in the Ministry of Tourism (Independent Charge) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
Raj Kumar Singh, MoS (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, is a former Union home secretary. Former diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri, who served as India’s Ambassador to the UN in New York and Geneva, has been made Minister of State (independent charge) of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Satyapal Singh, now MoS in the Human Resource Development ministry and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation ministry, is a former Mumbai police commissioner. He quit the service ahead of the Lok Sabha polls to take the electoral plunge.