Congress, AAP question cabinet reshuffle

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Presidenti Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President, M. Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister,  Narendra Modi with the newly inducted ministers after a Swearing-in Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on July 5. Photo: PIB
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President, M. Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister, Narendra Modi with the newly inducted ministers after a Swearing-in Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on July 5. Photo: PIB

In a bid to reshuffle the cabinet, the BJP led NDA government has dropped six ministers of states and introduced 19 new faces. Prime minister Narender Modi in an interaction with the media stated that “It is not a reshuffle or a change but an expansion. An expansion of the Council of Ministers will reflect the priorities and the focus that were outlined in the Union budget. Those will be strengthened.”

The reshuffle in the cabinet can be seen as the first major step since Modi government gained power in May 2014. But the Congress and Aam Admi Party (AAP) raised questions on the reshuffle and claimed it to be a futile exercise from “a man government”. According to Congress spokesperson Jairam Naresh, “It will not make any difference. It is a one-man government.” Whereas, AAP says the reshuffle is just a cosmetic change and it won’t make any difference as the government has failed to deliver any results in the last 2 years of gaining power.

The Modi government keeping in mind the Assembly Elections 2017 and the monsoon session of the Parliament starting from July 18, has inducted 19 new faces, 13 from Lok Sabha and 6 Rajya Sabha. 

Piyush Goyal (Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy), Dharmendra Pradhan (Petroleum and Natural Gas), Nirmala Sitharaman (Industries and Commerce) and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (Minority Affairs) are the promoted ministers with independent charge.  

The new faces in the cabinet from Lok Sabha members Arjun Ram Meghwal, P.P. Chaudhary and C.R. Chaudhary (Rajasthan), Anupriya Patel, Mahendra Nath Pandey and Krishna Raj (Uttar Pradesh), Ajay Tamta (Uttarakhand), S.S. Ahluwalia (West Bengal), Mansukh Bhai Mandavia and Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor (Gujarat), Subhash Ramrao Bhamre (Maharashtra), Rajan Gohain (Assam) and Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi (Karnataka) and the new ministers from Rajya Sabha are Ramdas Athawale (Maharashtra), Purushottam Rupala (Gujarat), Faggan Singh Kulaste, M.J. Akbar and Anil Madhav Dave (Madhya Pradesh) and Vijay Goel, the former Delhi BJP president (Rajasthan).