Modi is all set to expand his Cabinet on November 9, the first such expansion since he assumed power at the Centre in May. Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is likely to be inducted in the Union Cabinet as Defence Minister, while Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu may also get a berth. Talk of the cabinet expansion gained boost after Parrikar arrived in New Delhi during the day cancelling a Goa cabinet meeting and straight going into a meeting with Shah. Later in the night, he followed it up with a meeting with Modi with whom he shares a good rapport. Speculation equestrian over the possibility of a Union cabinet reshuffle may be in near future. There is talk that there could be an induction of as many as 10 ministers. The names of Jat leader from Haryana Birender Singh, Giriraj Singh, an MP from Bihar, and G S Shekhawat, MP from Rajasthan, are doing the rounds for inclusion in the Union Council of Ministers.
If we recall the past, owning responsibility of defeat in 1962 Chinese aggression, then defense minister VK Krishna Menon had resigned. Pt. Nehru found then Maharashtra CM viz YB Chavan as the best suitable replacement for Menon. PM Modi also finally zeroed in on an IITian and honest person in Manohar Parrikar for the defence minister’s post after a long consideration. As far as CM’s post in Goa is concerned, there is very much ‘hue and cries’ over RSS trained person occupying that post, why? RSS men are totally dedicated to the national cause and their patriotism is unquestionable. Narendra Modi is the new prime minister of aged India; being novice, we strive to show big, without the capability to achieve big. India should have a team of strategists and trouble shooters in world affairs. India is handling the Sri Lankan Tamils’ issue in an inept manner not caring to gain the confidence of the Tamils, mostly Hindu minorities in the island nation. We have to go a long way to achieve respectability and credibility in world affairs and India is yet to brush up its foreign policies to make it strong and effective. Prime Minister Modi appears to be daring to take bold initiatives. In summary, India is now a lot more confident, clear in thinking and willing to make important decisions for the sake of India. The UPA government appeared spineless, confused, and incapable of engaging effectively. Having good defense minister is the need of an hour. The defence portfolio is currently held as an additional charge by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who also has Corporate Affairs Ministry under his hold.
More than six ministers are currently holding more than one portfolio. Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari also hold the charge of Rural Development Ministry, while Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also has the charge of IT and Communications Ministry. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has Information & Broadcasting ministry as an additional charge while Power Minister Piyush Goyal also looks after Coal and Mines. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu also has Urban Development while Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS in Finance Ministry, also has independent charge of Commerce. BJP general secretary JP Nadda can be given prominent portfolios like Rural Development or Agriculture. This decision is taken after the Prime Minister expressed his unhappiness with the performance of incumbent Radha Mohan Singh. He reportedly told a colleague that he feels that Singh did not come fully prepared for cabinet meetings and had been lagging in his work. Prime Minister Modi is also likely to induct new ministers from Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Bihar to balance regional considerations. BJP MP from Chandrapur in Maharashtra Hansraj Ahir, who exposed the Coal Mining scam under the UPA regime, is being looked at as a possible candidate for a berth in the Modi cabinet. Among the other names doing the rounds for inclusion are first time MP Jayant Sinha, son of former minister Yashwant Sinha, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Anurag Thakur.
Parrikar belongs to BJP and is the first Chief Minister of Goa from his party. He was first elected to the Second Legislative Assembly of the State of Goa in 1994. He was the leader of the opposition from June to November, 1999. He became the Chief Minister of Goa for the first time on 24 October 2000, but his tenure lasted only till 27 February 2002. On 5 June 2002, he was re-elected and became the Chief Minister again. On 29 January 2005, his government was reduced to a minority in the assembly after four BJP MLAs resigned from the House. However, Parrikar proved his majority in 2005. In 2007, the Parrikar-led BJP was defeated in the Goa state elections by the Indian National Congress led by Digambar Kamat. His party became victorious once again after the BJP and allies won 24 seats against INC’s 9 seats in the Goa Assembly Elections held in March 2012. BJP showed an impressive performance in 2014 General Elections and won both the Lok Sabha seats in Goa. The leader was initially reluctant to assume the role. However, as the country urgently needs a Defence Minister, he conveyed his consent to the PM. Parrikar has a simple and clean image, is a non-corrupt leader. No doubt, he is very patriotic and nationalist. Defence Minister carries huge responsibility and respect. He will be a part of the kitchen cabinet of India, next to the PMO’s office. India needed a strong and honest Defence Minister and Parrikar fits the shoe. Parrikar is considered as one of the best statesmen which Goa has witnessed, an honest, humble, simple and clean image leader who is not afraid to take tough decisions. Parrikar as a Defence Minister will be the best decision by BJP.