When Narendra Modi took his oath as a Prime Minister back in May 2014, little did we know that the council of ministers who were given certain portfolios might have to see a rejig as early as 2016. The Union Ministers saw a slight change back in 2014 it self when Narendra Modi expanded his Cabinet by adding Union Ministers and Ministers of State.
This time around, there are speculations that the Cabinet will see a new overhaul as the Prime Minister is all set to weed out underperformers and bring about fresh faces for fresh approach at the Centre. Sources also say that this has turned out to be a very difficult task for the Prime Minister as he is not able to find apt replacements for the portfolios.
The government has seen tremendous economic growth but has not come out with something spectacular when taxation is considered. This pressure arises as Narendra Modi decides that it is imperative to bring about a reshuffle in his cabinet so as to revive his party fortunes. This change comes about after nearly two years as the all that Narendra Modi promised has started to wear off and affect the ruling party.
Although the next general elections are scheduled for 2019, the fortunes of the ruling government depend on the provincial polls that are yet to come which also include the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Elections. Veteran Newspaper Editor and commentator, Shekhar Gupta commented on the reshuffle, he said, “Modi needs to identify new talent and bring changes in his government. It will be too late if he fails to do it now.”
Prime minister’s aide said how the challenge is to identify the right candidates who can deliver fast-paced reforms and policies in their work sphere. There is a buzz that Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley will be seen handling the high-profile Defence portfolio that is currently being handled by Manohar Parrikar. This change should come about as soon as he delivers his annual budget in February 2016.
Defence is one of the portfolios that Arun Jaitley held before Parrikar took over in November 2014. It is said that moving Jaitley to defence is a better decision as the portfolio will suit the veteran lawyer and will be in the hands of a trusted aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A portfolio like finance would need to be in trusted hands if at all Jaitley shifts his gear to the defence sector. There are chances of Piyush Goyal, Power and Coal Minister to replace Jaitley as the Finance Minister. An investment banker-turned-politician, Goyal is likely to be rewarded as he tackled the issue of chronic power shortages and backing renewable sources of energy that are important for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pre-election promise to provide electricity to all households in the country.
Sources also bring about information on Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister who intends to work on a more domestic portfolio and Road Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari was given Agricultural industry as an added portfolio, which he politely declined.
Though, offices of the Union Ministers have declined to comment on this over haul, all we can do is sit back and wait for an official announcement. Also, if at all such an announcement is made how it will impact the ruling government who has been seeing major losses in provincial polls since the past few months.
Sources: DNA, Reuters