New Delhi: In a spreadsheet that was reportedly created for the performance review of all the ministers, Nirmala Sitharaman’s name figured among the achievers. As the MoS Commerce Ministry, she has negotiated a lot of trade agreements with various countries, provided a lot of support to Prime Minister’s favourite – Start-Up scheme.
She also held several rounds of negotiations, to convince a lot of stakeholders, of the benefits of GST – another scheme that was not only close to Prime Minister Modi, but a scheme on which he had staked his political capital. She has been seen to be a quiet but efficient minister.
Nirmala Sitharaman was appointed to the Commerce Ministry in May 2014 and among her main charges were to promote India’s exports. Here is a look at how exports have performed under her watch. Exports dipped lower because of a difficult global economic situation.source: tradingeconomics.com
Sitharaman is also seen to have served well the party as its spokesperson. She was among the primary spokespersons of the party, under Ravi Shankar Prasad, before being sworn in as the MoS. Also, she recently travelled to China for a BRICS meeting - a tricky assignment in the middle of a lengthy standoff at the border over Doklam.
There is perhaps another reason for the elevation of Sitharaman – Tamil Nadu elections.
For some time now BJP is seen to have been promoting Sitharaman as the face of the party in Tamil Nadu. She has off-late made several trips to the state, and has held several rounds of meetings with leaders from Tamil Nadu.
She is said to have been the first leader from BJP to propose legalising Jallikattu through promulgation of a State Ordinance, a route that the state government eventually took.
The party president Amit Shah is said to be quite unhappy with the present handling of Tamil Nadu by those put in charge of the state. Sitharaman’s elevation could be a part of an internal reorganisation of the party to that effect.
Born in Madurai and educated in Tiruchy, Sitharaman has been active in the state of Tamil Nadu, though not attached to any particular camp.