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Cabinet reshuffle: Modi, Shah’s balance between rewarding performance and pleasing RSS

4The cabinet reshuffle and expansion had lots of surprises. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah tried to maintain delicate balance between rewarding performance and pleasing RSS.
New Delhi: The cabinet reshuffle and expansion had lots of surprises. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah tried to maintain delicate balance between rewarding performance and pleasing RSS.
Jagdeesh Chandra, CEO, ZMCL decodes the mystery of cabinet reshuffle and brings forth parameters taken into consideration during the reshuffle.
Q. What were the parameters of cabinet expansion and reshuffle?
JC: Prime Narendra Modi has a distinct style. He has left for China leaving behind people insuspense, thrill and emotion after such an elaborate expansion. As long as parameters are concerned, the biggest parameters are delivery, performance and loyalty. The reshuffle and expansion have taken place on the basis of these three parameters.
Q. What is the impact of Amit Shah factor in this reshuffle?
JC: Amit Shah factor is a phenomenon. There is a culture in BJP and those who know say that at least 80 per cent appointments, postings and transfers have taken place on recommendations and opinion of Amit Shah.
Q. What was the role of RSS eventually in the reshuffle?
C: RSS is an eternal fact of BJP. Amit Shah and Narendra Modi had discussed it in entirety. He believe apart from the issue of Uma Bharti and Nitin Gadkari, whom RSS wanted to give Defence ministry … there was no dispute or any difference in opinion was visible… then it can be ascertained that RSS had a complete role. The decision was taken by Amit Shah and Narendra Modi in consonance with RSS.
Q. Why JDU was not included in cabinet and is Modi-Nitin ally on the verge of break up?
JC: It is learnt that there was no consensus between them in terms of seat distribution. NitishKumar wanted two posts of cabinet ministers but Narendra Modi and Amit Shah wanted to give one each cabinet minister and minister of state which could be decided between them. Amit Shah and Narendra Modi feared that had two cabinet ranks been given to JDU, Shiv Sena and AIADMK would also make similar demands.
Q. Why AIADMK didn’t join the cabinet, was there no consensus between Shah and AIADMK leaders?
JC: Story of AIADMK is different. There are two camps in the party… both the camps have joined hands broadly… after the death of Jayalalitha the scale of economic empire these people have, Income Tax is keeping a tight vigil… these people know their fate and broadly they also want to join hands with central government. Then consensus is clear.. but there is an issue that consensus is not there between camps of AIADMK. Onecamp with 21 MLAs has broken away and there is a risk that it can put up claim for chief minister. In that case Narendra Modi and Amit Shah would not like to take any risk.
Q. Will there be another cabinet expansion to accommodate associates like JDU-AIADMK or is it the closure of chapter till 2019?
JC: I think there will be fourth reshuffle. There are speculations that the expansion would take place on 17 September in which JDU-AIADMK would be accommodated and decision on elevation of Shiv Sena will also be taken. The chapter hasn’t closed yet.
Q. Will few CMs of BJP-ruled states be removed and be accommodated in the September 17 reshuffle?
JC: There is dispute whether the reshuffle will happen in September 17 or October 17. As far as CMs are concerned, it is learnt that few ministers of states may be inducted in the cabinet. Yes there is no denying that one or two ministers may leave state politics to get a taste of central politics.
Q. Why Gadkari doesn’t want to take charge of Railways?
JC: Nitin Gadkari is a visionary leader. She works in his own style. He thought there is nuisance everyday in rail ministry, people keep on asking for resignations on morale grounds inspire of the fact that there would ever no responsibility of his in any of those incidents. In today’s expansion, he has been given a new ministry – Ganga rejuvenation which he likes.
. Will Piyush Goyal succeed in Railways which always remains in disputes?
JC: Piyush Goyal has done wonders in power and coal reforms. As a result oriented Minister he will rejuvenate the rail ministry.
Q. Why Suresh Prabhu got commerce and industry ministry despite having failed in Railways?
JC: Giving Railways to Suresh Prabhu was a brace decision of Narendra Modi … and Prabhu isan honest and result oriented leader. Modi was happy with his performance, hence he gave one more chance to Prabhu.
Q. In the entire episode of cabinet reshuffle ultimately who emerged as real beneficiary hero?
JC: in this entire episode, Dharmendra Pradhan emerged as Hero No.1. The way he converted petroleum ministry from corporate ministry to ministry of poor, implemented Ujjwala Scheme, he got promotion at such a young age and with promotion he remained in the same department. Overall Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are satisfied with this reshuffle. They take their decision based on merit.
Q. Why Arun Jaitley was not relieved from Finance ministry despite pressure from RSS?
JC: Arun Jaitley is the biggest mystery of Modi government. He is extremely competent, result oriented and efficient person. When he argues then you have no choice but to agree to his arguments. PM also has agree to his logics. There was pressure from RSS to take finance ministry away from Jaitley…. policies of finance ministry whether it was demonetisation or GST, it is believed that traders and businessmen who are vote bank of BJP are getting away from the party. There were efforts to remove him from ministry last year also but PM used his veto to protect him. If Jaitley is removed at this juncture, a wrong message would be communicated to international community… that our decision on demonetisation and GST was wrong… and this will damage the image of government. That’s why PM used his veto and convinced RSS.
Q. Why retired bureaucrats were given preference over politicians in the cabinet?
JC: This is surprising. Today 4 retired bureaucrats were taken inducted in the cabinet. He musthave thought that professionals should be brought in. Modi is known for doing experiments. He has done new experiment with Puri. Singh has been given power ministry while Alphons of Kerala has been given Tourism. This is a surprise element from the government.
Q. Was there any political message?
JC: There is a political message in every step of Modi. The message of reshuffle is … I am in Command. That’s why people believe that in Modi’s rule the democracy in India has turned into presidential form of government. This is the biggest message from this expansion.
Q.Is there any role of Anand Pal factor behind making Gajendra Singh Shekhawat a minister from Rajasthan?
JC: There is only one factor in Rajasthan… that is Vasundhara Rajefactor…. whatever happensin the state is in consultation with her … as per her equation. That’s why if Shekhawat has been made minister, it is after consultation with her. This is mere coincidence that CM andShekhawat- both belong to Rajput community. Anand Pal Singh was a gangster killed in an encounter. Despite that there was sympathy for him in Rajput community… Amit Shah might have taken feedback from RSS and Shekhawat is known to be close to RSS. It is possible that he has been made elections keeping in mind elections scheduled in next year. But it is not fair to say that Shekhawat got ministerial berth due to Anand Pal factor.

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