Prime Minister Narendra Modi added 21 more ministers on Sunday to his government, among them two are IITians, an Olympic silver medallist and a Bollywood Singer. There is also a strategic focus on balancing regional aspirations, especially with an eye on forthcoming must-win state elections for the BJP. So Bihar, which will vote next year, gets three new ministers. Apart from Mr. Rajiv Pratap Rudy, there is Ram Kirpal Yadav, imported from Lalu Yadav’s party, and who is crucial to the BJPs plan of making inroads into the influential Yadav’s vote in Bihar and Giriraj Singh.
“Minimum Government, Maximum Governance”, this was the slogan given at the time of swearing in of Modi by himself. However, I’m still trying to figure out what that means. With 21 new faces inducted into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers on Sunday, the strength of his team now stands at 66, then where does the slogan apply? Anyway, what we can do is to just welcome them and congratulate those good leaders. Modi’s slogan could remain effective only for six months. Now, it evolved as maximum government, double burden on governance. However, it is a welcome decision as many ministers were heavily burdened. Hopefully, we would see many more reforms and implementation of schemes. Expansion of the cabinet will let the government to focus on minute issues also. Now, there will be full fledged Defence Minister. Now, we expect our Finance Ministry to solve the issues like pay revision for bankers and other PSU’S which is in pending since 2012.
Some Ministers who were sworn in
Manohar Parrikar is the first IITian to become the Chief Minister of any Indian state. Mr. Parrikar said that he had decided to accept the offer of Union Cabinet seat as a matter of “national interest” although he also said that he was extremely attached to Goa.
Suresh Prabhu, a former Cabinet minister, is the head of a high-level panel on power revamp — “Advisory Group for Integrated Development of Power, Coal and Renewable Energy”. Mr. Prabhu was the initiator of reforms in the power sector during his tenure as Power Minister in the former NDA government when he had piloted the integrated electricity bill and the law for setting up a regulator.
J.P. Nadda is the Rajya Sabha member from Himachal Pradesh and is also the national general secretary of the BJP. He also served as the President of Olympic Association, Himachal Pradesh from 2008 to 2012.
Birender Singh is a Jat leader from Haryana. In August, Birendra Singh ended his four-decade-long association with the Congress and joined the BJP. Mr. Singh is one of the many Congress leaders to have shifted their loyalties to the BJP in the recent months.
Bandaru Dattatreya is a former Union Minister for Railways and was appointed as chairman of parliamentary committee on OBC welfare. He was re-elected to 16th Lok Sabha from Secunderabad Constituency.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy is the BJP MP from Saran constituency in Bihar. He was the civil aviation minister in the previous NDA government. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Mr. Rudy defeated former Bihar CM Rabri Devi.
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is BJP’s prominent Muslim face and is a vice-president of the party. He is also the party’s youth wing president. In 1998, he was appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and was also given responsibility of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
Ram Kripal Yadav is the BJP Patliputra MP will be the party’s “Yadav” face in next year’s Assembly elections, challenging his erstwhile leader and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad.
Giriraj Singh is a senior party leader who recently stoked controversy with his speeches during the election campaign wherein he said that those who opposed Modi belong in Pakistan. The statement drew flak from the Opposition parties and Election Commission. The BJP distanced itself from Mr Singh’s remarks.
Hansraj Gangaram Ahir is an MP from Maharashtra who is credited with uncovering the coal block scam.
Y.S. Chowdary is a first-time Rajya Sabha member, Mr. Chowdary is the second MP from the Telugu Desam Party, to be inducted into the Cabinet, the first being Union Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, who represents the Vizianagaram constituency. He is popularly known as ‘Sujana’ Chowdary for founding the Sujana group of industries which manufactures home appliances.
Jayant Sinha is the Lok Sabha MP from Hazaribagh constituency, Jharkhand. Mr. Sinha, son of Yashwant Sinha was an investment professional and an alumunus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Harvard Business School. At McKinsey, Mr. Sinha co-led the global Software and IT Services practice.
Babul Supriyo is a popular singer and BJP MP from West Bengal’s Asansol seat. He will be the first Minister from West Bengal in the National Democratic Alliance government.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is a first time MP from Jaipur Rural and also an Olympian shooter. He is a recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards.
Vijay Sampla is a BJP MP from Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha constituency.
There are some MoS (Independent Charge) i.e. Dr. Mahesh Sharma; MoS – H.P. Chowdhary, Mohan Kundariya, Ramshankar Katheria, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Sanwar Lal Jat.
My best wishes to all the new ministers and I hope this expansion will hasten the development in all regions of the country.