Modi Cabinet reshuffle 2016: PM Narendra Modi expanded his Cabinet today with the induction of 19 new members of the BJP and its allies. Prakash Javadekar, who held the independent charge of environment, was the only minister who was promoted to cabinet rank, the others being left in their present posts. And even before that happened, Opposition parties started attacking the government and its newest exercise. Portfolios of these ministers will be announced at 7 p.m. today.
Within minutes of the conclusion of the ceremony, 5 current minsters sent in their resignations. Nihalchand, Ram Shankar Katheria, Sanwar Lal Jat, Manuskhbhai D Vasva and M K Kundariya are the ministers who have been dropped.
Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut reacted to the expansion by saying that ‘All the faces are from BJP, not NDA. This is a PM’s decision.’ “Every face inducted today is from the BJP. Ramdas Athavale came to the Rajya Sabha from BJP quota, Anupriya Patel merged her party with the BJP. They did not invite Akali Dal or the Telugu Desam, the Shiv Sena has no qualms about not being part of expansion,” Raut added.
Till expansion, the Union Cabinet had as many as 64 ministers, including the Prime Minister, and at the most there can be a maximum of 82 due to a Constitutional requirement. Cabinet expansion started at 11 a.m when President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Congress party initially reacted to the Cabinet reshuffle in a muted manner on Tuesday by expressing hope that the nation would witness good governance post the Cabinet reshuffle as the expectations are high from the BJP-led NDA regime.
However, by the afternoon, the party had gone into the attack mode. PM Modi’s Cabinet expansion was roundly slammed by the Congress party which said it displayed a ‘bankruptcy of vision’. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “An important facet of this Cabinet expansion is the incompetent and non-performing ministers of Union Cabinet have not been punished or dropped, nor has anybody been rewarded. This according to us reflects a bankruptcy of vision and creation of futuristic leadership.”
With a slowdown still affecting the economy, Surjewalla said that the expansion in no way addressed this problem, he said, “No attention has been paid towards fixing runaway inflation or creation of jobs by infusion of innovative leadership in the Cabinet. Modi ji appears to be completely oblivious to the gloom in trade and business..to successive contractors in core sector industry, to falling exports for now 17 months, crisis in the banking sector and a devaluing rupee”.
Surjewala said that the Cabinet expansion in no way caters to problems of governance. He added, “Had this not been true then ministers like Smriti Irani, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Sanjeev Balyan, General V.K. Singh, Mahesh Sharma, Giriraj Singh half way dozen others would have definitely faced the acts.”
After the dropping of five ministers, today’s expansion took the total strength of the Council of Ministers to 78, four below the Constitutional bar of 82. The Council of Ministers can have a maximum of 15 per cent of the total strength of the Lok Sabha, which has 542 members. Official sources said the exercise was aimed at infusing more “experience, expertise and energy” into the government.
Senior lawyer and former top Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Prashant Bhushan took to Twitter to give his reaction: “Modi Cabinet expansion is not for governance: A political exercise aimed at election & to consolidate his & RSS’s grip on power.”
Earlier, Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan sounded a note of caution and said that the reshuffle must not be done on caste and area considerations because Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections are round the corner.
“There are other issues, people who need to be promoted on the basis of merit and not on caste considerations and loud mouths who have done damage to the Bharatiya Janata Party and to your government should be shown the way out. So, we wish the Prime Minister and his team good luck,” Vadakkan said.
“And we do hope we see good governance with this new team and everybody is looking forward for a new team to energize the new team currently because the economic situation is grim and the expectations are big. So, I hope that we would see some effective governance coming in after the reshuffle,” he added.
Another strong reaction came from Congress leader Pramod Tiwari over Uttar Pradesh. While there were strong indications the state would get a lion’s share of the new posts on offer, the reality was far from that making the Congress say that PM does ‘Mann ki Baat’ very often but is least interested in ‘Kaam ki Baat’. Tiwari said, “Several promises were made, Mann ki Baat is made, but there has been no ‘Kaam ki Baat’ for Uttar Pradesh so far.It now seems the Prime Minister is taking some revenge from Uttar Pradesh. Being from Uttar Pradesh, I am extremely upset with the Cabinet expansion as Uttar Pradesh has given 73 lawmakers and today not even one has been given the Cabinet rank. Some have been given the rank of Ministers of State. So, I would say this is pure discrimination as several lawmakers have been inducted from Gujarat and other states.”
The major changes in the government have already come in for a lot of criticism from the Opposition quarters, which is downplaying its importance saying nothing major is going to happen as Modi rules with an iron hand. Congress says that since the NDA government is a a “one-man government”, a Cabinet reshuffle is hardly going to ‘make any difference’. party spokesman Jairam Ramesh said, “It will not make any difference. It is a one-man government”.
Put yourself in PM Narendra Modi’s shoes and tell us what you would do:
Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit too lambasted the BJP-led NDA regime prior to the Cabinet reshuffle and said even bringing in hundred new ministers won’t make any difference as the ruling dispensation has failed on both foreign as well as domestic front. Justifying his assertion, Dikshit said the government has fallen very sharply in the last two years in people’s views. “But I think it’s not changing of ministers or getting new faces that will help this government. Very rarely has a government in two years fallen so sharply in the people’s views. It has a failed foreign policies, its domestic policy is not working. The way it handled drought, everybody criticised it. Irrigation just hasn’t worked, smart cities have become elite concerns,” Dikshit said.
WATCH: BJP workers break into dance in Bhopal after Anil Dave got inducted as Minister of state #CabinetExpansionhttps://t.co/J9NMLjQ2xW
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 5, 2016
Check out the reactions on Twitter, for and against the Narendra Modi Cabinet expansion:
1. Shekhar Gupta Verified account @ShekharGupta 59m59 minutes ago New Delhi, India
The #ModiCabinet changes fully reflect the Modi-Shah approach to governance purely through expansion of political power. Talent can follow
2. ‘Beta’ Saral @PatelSaral007 46m46 minutes ago
UPA was criticised for having “too many” ministers(71 to be precise). #ModiCabinet has 81 minister now.
3. rama lakshmi Verified account @RamaNewDelhi 1h1 hour ago
Including new Dalits, OBCs in cabinet does not mean it is merely a political expansion & not a “governance” expansion.Upper caste TV anaysis
5. Matt Reuben @matt_reuben Jun 24
With the Cabinet losing one member, will the decision on airport expansion be delayed even further? #EUref #EURefResults
6. Tehseen Poonawalla @tehseenp 1h1 hour ago
Hahaha this #ModiCabinet expansion exposes one more #Jumla of @narendramodi – minimum government any body?
7. Shekhar Kapur Verified account @shekharkapur 1m1 minute ago Paddington, London
Congratulations 2 new #ModiCabinet may ur decisions be guided by compassion for hunger n pain of poor of India. Their rise is India’s rise.
8. Anshul Saxena @AskAnshul 36m36 minutes ago
Such a poor decision of #ModiCabinet. Ramdas Athavle? This Athavle was defending Don Chhota Rajan n saying Rajan busted because he’s Dalit.
9. chakra pani @paani27 now4 minutes ago
5 from scheduled castes and 2 from scheduled tribes
Why #ShivSena is so restless? Is Shiv Sena an ally or a foe?Uddhav must first learn to behave like an ally then seek a berth in
11. StartUp @TopGunRajesh
Great proof of Maximum Government & Minimum Governance shown today with 19 new ministers in #ModiCabinet
12. Manish Anand @IndiaProbe
After such “massive” diligence to discover “talent” for #ModiCabinet expansion, not even one was found worth Cabinet rank!
13. bhageerathi @bhageeerathi
This is not actually #CabinetReshuffle. This is BJP’s preparation for UP elections. Anything and everything only for elections
14. गुटकाखोर बिहारी @GutkaKhor
जब सारे काम #मोदी जी और उनका PMO कर लेता है तो नए मंत्री क्या सिर्फ झाल बजाने के लिए रखे हैं ?
15. Harish Inamdar @harishinamdar
Every Tom,Dick&Harry seems to be getting a place in the #ModiCabinet but not even one technocrat. #FutileExercise
16. MediaCrooks @mediacrooks
Other than some political considerations… this #ModiCabinet expansion has nothing dramatic.. nothing impactful .. just a growing elephant
17. CANeha @Nk3010Neha
Only purpose #ModiCabinet expansion 2 win forthcoming election so induct only puppets of RSS as ministers
18. CA Sanjiv Jha @Casanjiv1
After #ModiCabinet expansion, slogan “Minimum Government” will be a joke, as it will be 100% capacity. Don’t know about governance.
19. Ashok Garekar @DrGarekar
Caste is supreme to become Minister in #ModiCabinet,Talent & Education is just incidental & in fact,may be detrimental in selection to top
20. Navin Khaitan @navinkhaitan
Those criticised MMS for hv 76 Ministers in Coalition Govt are now silent on #ModiCabinet hv 80 ministers despite no coalition compulsions!
— Sickular Liberal (@SickularLibtard) July 5, 2016
Take the opinion poll, tell us what you think:
Here are the names of the new inductees:
1. Prakash Javadekar takes oath as Cabinet Minister at the Rashtrapati Bhavan
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 5, 2016
2. Fagan Khulaste takes oath as Cabinet Minister
3. SS Ahluwalia takes oath as Cabinet Minister
4. Fagan Khulaste takes oath as Cabinet Minister
5. Rajen Gohain takes oath as the Minister of State
6. Ramdas Athawale takes oath as Minister (Athavale forgot to mention his name while taking oath)
7. Vijay Goel sworn in as the Minister of state
8. Anil Madhav Dave sworn in as the Minister of state
9. Parsottambhai Rupala sworn in as the Minister of State
10. M. J. Akbar takes oath as the Minister of State
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 5, 2016
11. Arjun Ram Meghwal takes oath as the Minister of State
12. Jaswant Singh Bhabhor takes oath as Minister
13. Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey takes oath as the Minister of State at the President’s House in Delhi
14. Ajay Tamta sworn in as the Minister of state at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi
15. Krishna Raj sworn in as the Minister of State at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi
16. Mansukh Mandaviya takes oath as the Minister of state in presence of President Pranab Mukherjee
17. Anupriya Patel takes oath as the Minister of State in presence of President Pranab Mukherjee
18. CR Chaudhary sworn in as the Minister of State at the President’s House in Delhi
19. P P Choudhary sworn in as the Minister of State at the President’s House in Delhi
20. Dr Subhash Ramrao Bhamre takes oath as the Minister of state at the President’s House in Delhi
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 5, 2016