Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet rejig reflects the BJP leadership’s determination to prepare the party for the next two decades. New faces hitherto unknown to Lutyens’ Delhi have found opportunities to shine through hard work and take on leadership challenges in their respective states, when the time comes.
If they were working away from the media limelight and thought that only those who were popular would get the attention of the leadership, they have been proved wrong. The Prime Minister has developed ways to identify such people and give them an opportunity to work harder and make their mark in politics. This is going to inspire many others to work harder and wait for their turn.
At the level of social expansion, the cabinet reshuffle has accommodated various regional and community aspirations to make the government truly reflective of real India. Poor, deprived and suppressed, OBCs, Dalits, tribals, forward castes, women and youth have found their way to the government. Representation of various states as well as a regional balance has been ensured.
There are 27 ministers from OBCs, 12 from SCs, eight from STs, five from minorities including two Buddhists, and 29 from other communities. There are 11 women ministers—one of the highest in the union government. There are scores of professionals from various fields—bureaucrats, doctors, lawyers and technocrats. This government truly reflects the mosaic that is India.
Even when the party has a majority on its own, it has taken pains to address the issue of coalition politics. The Janata Dal (United), the Lok Janshakti Party and the Apna Dal have been accommodated and this reflects that the BJP is keen to share power. This is going to create room for further allies.
Bringing new people in the government and sending some of the more experienced ones back to the party is a strategy the BJP has adopted even in the past. This was the strategy Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had adopted when he reshuffled his ministry to send best men to the party and vice-versa. This strategy helps enrich both the government and the party. Some people who have worked both in the party and the government come in handy when the party plans its election strategy in poll-bound states.
While the rejig will definitely bring new energy, it is in no way an indictment of the performance of those dropped. These ministers are experienced and delivered on the job that was assigned to them. And when the ministry works on the principle of collective responsibility, it is difficult to single out anyone. While media may interpret this differently now, they would be writing a different story once these same people get important positions to steer the party to new glory.
The biggest development that did not get much attention was the formation of a new Ministry of Cooperation a day prior to the cabinet reshuffle. This is headed by Home Minister Amit Shah. For those uninitiated, Shah knows the miracles that push to cooperative moment can do in this country. He has witnessed that in Gujarat and the cooperative movement is now going to get a big push. The country’s growth story is slated to be written by this ministry. And who better to helm it than Shah who is a workaholic like the Prime Minister and a hard taskmaster.
Post-COVID, assuming that the third wave (if it comes) would not be that severe, the cabinet reshuffle demonstrates the intention of the government to restart the task of faster development and growth. Without wasting time, these ministers will have to start plugging the loopholes and get started on the job at hand. They get a chance to implement the vision of the Prime Minister and those who work hard without fear or favour would stand tall.
In politics you can’t take your position for granted. The opportunities one gets should be used to work hard to ameliorate the suffering of the people. The Prime Minister does not believe in micro management and he allows people to shine on merit. The vision is clear, the agenda is clear and so is the determination. One has to get into the groove and work to realize the government’s goal. One should not forget that the mandate has been given for Narendra Modi and his vision must get translated into action.