Sunday, September 19, 2021

Kishan Reddy elevated to Cabinet rank, to handle Tourism, culture

Kishan Reddy with Prime Minister Narendra Modi

  • More ministers from UP, Gujarat
  • Strength of the Cabinet goes up from 53 to 77
  • Some of the expected names did not make it

New Delhi: G. Kishan Reddy, MP from Secunderabad, has been elevated to Cabinet rank and entrusted with the portfolios of culture and Tourism. He has been rewarded for the good work he has been doing in the ministry of home affairs. His case was recommended by the Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah who watched Kishan Reddy’s work from close quarters. The prime minister has inducted 36 new ministers in his cabinet and relieved four important ministers. The exit of high profile minister appears to be a more important development than the induction of new ministers in Narendra Modi’s Cabinet. The exit of law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and environment minister and government’s spokesman Prakash Javadekar besides health minister Dr. Harshvardhan is remarkable. Javadekar and Prasad were ministers even in the Cabinet headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee. Prakash Javadekar and Ravi Shankar Prasad were very important ministers in Modi’s cabinet as well. Prasad was fighting with IT giant Twitter as IT minister. He was the face of IT wing of the government. His resignation was unexpected and shocking. Both Javadekar and Prasad were in the forefront when it came to defending the government or attacking the opposition. What kind of assignments Modi has in mind for them would be known only after some time.  

The government has been facing flack in the case of health management and economic development. The second phase of Covid has shattered the reputation of the government and the economy has been sliding down unabated for quite some months.  The health minister has resigned but the finance minister stayed on. It appears that the PM would take two days to finalise the portfolios.

Narendra Modi could have 81 ministers in his Cabinet. He had made it 77 including himself. The dropping of the ministers was linked to performance as government spokesman hinted. 20 per cent of the ministers, one fifth of the council of ministers, were dropped. Junior Health Minister Ashwini Choube, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Neshank, other ministers Babul Suprio, Savananda Gowda and Santosh Gangwar also stepped down. Observers say the big four ministries of Home, Defence, Foreign Affairs and Finance may not change hands.

Narayan Rane who was with Shiv Sena and then Congress before migrating to the BJP has been a controversial choice. BJP made allegations of money laundering and land grabbing against the very same Rane when he was with other parties. Jyothiraditya Scindia has got his Rajya Sabha seat and a berth in the Cabinet as a reward for felling the government headed by his own party (Congress) in Madhya Pradesh. Sarbanada Sonowal, former chief minister of Assam who stood down this time in favour of Himanta Biswa Sharma, has been rewarded for his loyalty to the party leadership.  High profile BJP leaders like Bhupendra Yadav and Meenakshi Lekhi also joined the government. G Krishna Reddy, Kiren Rijiju, Anurag Thakur, Hardeep Singh Puri, Purushotham Rupala, Manush Mandavya have been elevated. Seven new ministers are from UP, which will go to polls in the first half of next year, were inducted. The second place in highest representation  goes to Gujarat which also will have elections soon. South India has not been much represented except a minister from Tamil Nadu and elevation to Kishan Reddy. Karnataka has been given its due as a BJP-ruled State.

K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor

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