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A new look Modi cabinet (Column: Political Calculus)


The evening crept up slowly. Different colours of light over the presidential palace. After sitting in front of a historical architecture, the of India, Damodardas Modi, started his second innings. After he took oath, other ministers took oath one by one.

Whatever constitutes the cabinet, one thing is very clear: that it is Modi's cabinet. is the supreme leader who decides the and administrative direction of the country. He is hundred per cent competent. He has been inventing various kinds of observers and analysts in different ways. Some think that he is the of the leader. Some people also believe that he is a very liberal leader, he has taken socialist programmes in many ways, keeping an eye on poor people. Those social projects are the characteristics of a well-intentioned state. So is a state hero, who has many types of shades, a variety of layers.

So what are the issues or the pre-condition that is to choose from his ministers? Firstly, he wanted a working who can work at the same rhythm as him, who will be honest and whose image in public would be good. Sushma Swaraj did not contest this election for health reasons, so, Modi made Rajnath Singh his Defence is and S. Jayashankar his

The importance of the and the is clear from the choice of person appointed as minister. Firstly, after the attack of Pulwama and Balakot, India's foreign policy will move fast. Trade issues with the US will be settled through negotiations. and and other European countries also have to balance the relationship. There should be some pressure to stop Pakistan's terrorist activities so that is forced to sit in talks. For such complex diplomacy, there was special need for a person like Jaishankar as Minister for External Affairs, there is no doubt about this.

Again, Amit Shah, the country's interior minister, has decided to eliminate Pakistan-backed Kashmiri militants or foreign terrorists. There is a guru-disciple relationship between Modi and will be the highest priority for Jawaharlal Nehru's was the Vallabhbhai Patel. Atal Bihari Vajpayee's was Lal North Block has a huge black-and-white picture of the Home Minister. This huge picture is quite significant today. Because Advani won from Gandhinagar, Amit Shah also came from that seat, and broke Advani's record for votes. Like Amit Shah, Advani was also the party's

I have seen Amit Shah at work even when his sugar level was high. He was running the poll campaign just after taking an insulin injection inside his chopper. He is a man of action. His aim will be to start a dialogue on Article 370 and Article 35(A). The BJP is still small in the Rajya Sabha. So the Bill with Article 370 cannot be passed even now. Hence, Amit Shah will wait. The character of terrorism in has changed a lot. Hurriyat leaders are no longer relevant, but some of the youngest militant leaders have been formed in the Valley. Rajnath Singh also tried to negotiate with them. Then there was a tie-up with the Mehbooba Mufti. The compromise no longer exists today. Amit Shah's initial strategy will be to control militancy.

So the combination of Jaishankar and Amit Shah is very important for Modi. One, a hardliner will go on the path of nationalism and the other will talk about world brotherhood. And the two will actually work for In addition to this, Modi has kept his old team for the Railways, Transport, and Broadcasting, and Petroleum and Technology. As a result, Piyush Goyal, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Nitin Gadkari, and are all there. There was no evidence of a rebellion from those who were excluded from the cabinet. Vajpayee had made Sikandar Bakht his But, he did not come to South Block for the first two-or-three days after becoming minister because he had not been made Such a scenario is unimaginable in the time of Modi. Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, and have all been sidelined for their rebellion.

Many said that Modi is actually an autocrat. They also said that there is an undeclared emergency in the country and, as a result, there are no dissenting voices. But, millions of people in the country have incredible confidence in Modi. If some people oppose Modi by attacking their own interests, they will be isolated. People will throw them in the dustbin. And so this is a new avatar of Narendra Modi.

(Jayanta Ghosal is a senior journalist)



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 08 2019. 09:24 IST