Geared For the Upcoming Elections, Modi Gets a New Cabinet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the union government’s second cabinet reshuffle and expansion on Tuesday morning.

Initial analysis

The Wire‘s founding editor Siddharth Varadarajan said on the reshuffle:

“To describe the Modi cabinet as a glorified election machine is to state the obvious. Not one of the ministers inducted today has come in because of any track record or expectation of performance on the governance front. They have been brought in on the arithmetical calculations of caste and region that Prime Minister Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and the RSS have made. So we see lots of new faces from Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, which go to the polls in the next 18 months.

The route to winning elections lies not in such calculations – or in the strategy of communalisation that is being pursued in UP – but in actually delivering on the governance front.

Here, there will be widespread disappointment at the prime minister’s failure to drop major laggards and non-performers – he knows who they are but will not act for fear of being accused of having made bad choices in the first place. The five ministers who have been axed include Ram Shankar Katheria, who became notorious earlier this year for his hate speech. But others who have made a habit of engaging in inflammatory talk remain: Sanjeev Baliyan, Niranjan Jyoti, Giriraj Singh.

If ‘maximum governance’ is clearly not a priority, gone too is the conceit of ‘minimum governance’.

With the 19 new names, the Modi council of ministers – cabinet rank, minister of state (independent charge) and minister of state – stands at 78. I don’t have the number readily available but that seems to me slightly larger than the jumbo government of Manmohan Singh that he was rightly criticised for.”

The Wire‘s founding editor M.K. Venu’s take on the reshuffle:

“The so-called reshuffle, in which incompetent ministers were supposed to have been dropped, has turned out to be a storm in a teacup. PM Modi himself clarified in various interviews that it’s an expansion and not a reshuffle. Sure enough, the expansion is partly done keeping UP elections in mind. At least two inductees, Anupriya Patel and Krishna Raj, are from eastern UP and belong to lower castes. The BJP’s focus on caste politics is very much alive and kicking. The original list cabinet formation in May 2014 was also largely on caste lines.

The widely held belief that the Modi cabinet has major talent deficit remians unaddressed.”

New appointees

Nineteen new faces were inducted into the council of ministers. The list has several who are OBCs, five Dalits, two from minority communities and two women, drawn from ten states. The new appointees are:

S.S. Ahluwalia, Lok Sabha MP from Darjeeling

Ramesh Chandappa Jigjinagi, Lok Sabha MP from Bijapur, Karnataka

Parshottam Rupala, Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat

M.J. Akbar, Rajya Sabha member from Jharkhand

Arjun Ram Meghwal, Lok Sabha MP from Bikaner, Rajasthan

Anil Madhav Dave, Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh

Vijay Goel, Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan

Rajen Gohain, Lok Sabha member from Nawgong, Assam

Mahendra Nath Pandey, two-time BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh

C.R. Chaudhary, Lok Sabha MP from Nagaur, Rajasthan

P.P. Chaudhary, Lok Sabha MP from Pali, Rajasthan

Ramdas Athawale, Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra

Subhash Ramrao Bhamre, Lok Sabha MP from Dhule, Maharashtra

Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor, Lok Sabha MP from Dahod, Gujarat

Mansukh Mandaviya, Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat

Faggan Singh Kulaste, Lok Sabha MP from Mandla, Madhya Pradesh

Ajay Tamta, Lok Sabha MP from Almora, Uttarakhand

Anupriya Singh Patel, Lok Sabha MP from Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh

Krishna Raj, Lok Sabha MP from Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh

Modi’s new cabinet: As big as Manmohan Singh’s UPA II council of ministers

Complete List of the Council of Ministers (as of July 5, 2016)

  1.  Narendra Modi: Prime Minister, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy Department of Space, All important policy issues and all other portfolios not allocated to any Minister

Cabinet ministers

  1. Rajnath Singh – Home Affairs
  2. Sushma Swaraj – External Affairs
  3. Arun Jaitley – Finance & Corporate Affairs
  4. M Venkaiah Naidu – Urban Development Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Information & Broadcasting
  5. Nitin Jairam Gadkari – Road Transport and Highways & Shipping
  6. Manohar Parrikar – Defence
  7. Suresh Prabhu – Railways
  8. D V Sadananda Gowda – Statistics & Programme Implementation
  9. Uma Bharati – Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
  10. Najma A Heptulla – Minority Affairs
  11. Ramvilas Paswan – Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
  12. Kalraj Mishra – Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
  13. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi – Women & Child Development
  14. Ananth Kumar – Chemicals & Fertilizers, Parliamentary Affairs
  15. Ravi Shankar Prasad – Law & Justice, Electronics & Information Technology
  16. Jagat Prakash Nadda – Health & Family Welfare
  17. Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati – Civil Aviation
  18. Anant Geete – Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises
  19. Harsimrat Kaur Badal – Food Processing Industries
  20. Narendra Singh Tomar – Rural Development, Panchayati Raj Drinking Water & Sanitation
  21. Chaudhary Birender Singh – Steel
  22. Jual Oram – Tribal Affairs
  23. Radha Mohan Singh – Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
  24. Thaawar Chand Gehlot – Social Justice and Empowerment
  25. Smriti Zubin Irani – Textiles
  26. Harsh Vardhan – Science & Technology, Earth Sciences
  27. Prakash Javadekar – Human Resource Development

Ministers of state (independent charge)

  1. Rao Inderjit Singh – Planning (Independent Charge) Urban Development Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation
  2. Bandaru Dattatreya – Labour & Employment (Independent Charge)
  3. Rajiv Pratap Rudy – Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge)
  4. Vijay Goel – Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge), Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
  5. Shripad Yesso Naik – AAYUSH (Independent Charge)
  6. Dharmendra Pradhan – Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge)
  7. Piyush Goyal – Power (Independent Charge) Coal (Independent Charge) New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) Mines (Independent Charge)
  8. Jitendra Singh – Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space
  9. Nirmala Sitharaman – Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge)
  10. Mahesh Sharma – Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge)
  11. Manoj Sinha – Communications (Independent Charge), Railways
  12. Anil Madhav Dave – Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge)

Ministers of state

  1. V.K, Singh – External Affairs
  2. Santosh Kumar Gangwar – Finance
  3. Faggan Singh Kulaste – Health & Family Welfare
  4. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi – Minority Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs
  5. SS Ahluwalia – Agriculture & Farmer Welfare, Parliamentary Affairs
  6. Ramdas Athawale – Social Justice & Empowerment
  7. Ram Kripal Yadav – Rural Development
  8. Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary – Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
  9. Giriraj Singh – Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
  10. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir – Home Affairs
  11. GM Siddeshwara – Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises
  12. Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi – Drinking Water & Sanitation
  13. Rajen Gohain – Railways
  14. Parshottam Rupala – Agriculture & Farmer Welfare, Panchayati Raj
  15. MJ Akbar – External Affairs
  16. Upendra Kushwaha – Human Resources Development
  17. Radhakrishnan P – Road Transport & Highways Shipping
  18. Kiren Rijiju – Home Affairs
  19. Krishan Pal – Social Justice & Empowerment
  20. Jasvantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor – Tribal Affairs
  21. Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan – Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
  22. Vishnu Deo Sai – Steel
  23. Sudarshan Bhagat – Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  24. YS Chowdary – Science & Technology, Earth Science
  25. Jayant Sinha – Civil Aviation
  26. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore – Information & Broadcasting
  27. Babul Supriyo – Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation
  28. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti – Food Processing Industries
  29. Vijay Sampla – Social Justice & Empowerment
  30. Arjun Ram Meghwal – Finance, Corporate Affairs
  31. Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey – Human Resource Development
  32. Ajay Tamta – Textiles
  33. Krishna Raj – Women & Child Development
  34. Mansukh L Mandaviya – Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Chemicals & Fertilisers
  35. Anupriya Patel – Health & Family Welfare
  36. CR Chaudhary – Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
  37. PP Chaudhary – Law & Justice, Electronics & Information Technology
  38. Dr Subhash Ramrao Bhamre – Defence

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