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Cabinet reshuffle: Modi-Shah jugalbandi behind smooth recast

NEW DELHI: The close coordination between PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah seemed all too apparent as they seemed to almost clap in unison as ministers took oath of office at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday.

If the exercise of ministerial exclusions, promotions and inductions had been taxing, it did not show and both looked pleased as the Modi ministry’s third recast unfolded and the events once again underlined Amit Shah’s key role in important decisions concerning the Party and the government.

In a set-up where Modi’s role as chief vote-getter and leader of the government and party does not need emphasis, Shah has carved a role for himself as a shrewd organisational brain who is completely in sync with the government’s political and governance objectives and, in fact, works in tandem with the PM.

In the past, when BJP had been in power, party presidents were ineffective or quite in the shadow of the government.

Compromise choices like Bangaru Laxman ran into trouble while others like Jana Krishnamurthy ended up at odds with the leadership of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy L K Advani. A veteran like Kushabhau Thakre was respected but was not really part of the inner decisionmaking team.

In contrast, Shah has bucked the trend of party chiefs who lived in the shadow of the government and has emerged as a successful strategist with his active participation in poll planning.

He has campaigned but his skills are seen to lie in getting party factions to pull together and on occasion firmly persuading seniors to vacate positions, working out compromises like the succession of a ward.

He has also been an important channel for feedback for the government and plays a role in the PM’s assessment of how ministers and departments are doing. He has taken the lead in deciding the induction of leaders from Congress and other parties ahead of elections in Assam, Uttarakhand and UP and keeps a close eye on the functioning of BJP’s state governments.

The ministerial reshuffle is clearly the PM’s prerogative and finance minister Arun Jaitley said, “The prime minister has set the bar very high.

It is obviously clear that he is very closely monitoring the performance of each ministry and each individual and therefore decided who is to be given what responsibility.”

Terming the induction of BJP leaders with proven administrative abilities in the new team as “extremely significant”, Jaitley said the PM had recognised their ability and talent and nominees like ex-bureaucrats Hardeep Puri, R K Singh, Satyapal Singh and Alphons Kannanthanam were associated with the party for a while, countering the charge that BJP had to fish outside to fill a talent deficit.

Jaitley took a dig at Congress’s allegation that Modi did not trust his political colleagues and inducted four former bureaucrats. “How can UPA say this? Their own prime minister (Manmohan Singh) came from the same background,” the FM said.

Source : timesofindia

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Cabinet reshuffle: Modi-Shah jugalbandi behind smooth recast


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