Election-bound states high on Modi's agenda

Election-bound states high on Modi's agenda

The first Cabinet expansion carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi attempts at giving adequate representation to the poll-bound states and also reward “performers” and “achievers” in his quest for better delivery from his ministers.

Modi, who has been able to hold on to his popularity among the masses owing to his charismatic personality and coming up with promising schemes, knows that his more than five-month-old government will have to quickly deliver on assurances of bringing a about turn in the country’s  economy.

"The Prime Minister’s stress is on performance and serving the countrymen, the promises he made ahead of elections," BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said.  “Leaders inducted into the party are performers,” also felt party spokesperson Anil Balooni.

Leaders like BJP general secretaries J P Nadda and Rajiv Pratap Ruddy have been rewarded for helping the party achieve unexpected results in Maharastra after snapping ties with its oldest ally Shiv Sena. Party sources said that same argument holds true for inducting Harvard University educated Jayant Sinha, who also happens to be the son of former finance minister Yashwant Sinha. Sinha had opposed to Modi’s elevation as prime ministerial candidate.

A party leader said that four-term Lok Sabha member from Chandrapur, Maharashtra, Hansraj Ahir is an achiever since his relentless pursuit unravelled big ticket coal scam during the UPA regime. Though not in politics, first time MP from Rajasthan and Armyman Rajyavardhan Rathore’s gold medal in the Olympics has put him in promising talent category, felt party sources. 

Modi inducted four more leaders from his politically adopted Uttar Pradesh and three from Bihar to send messages that these poll-bound states are high on his agenda as the party attempts to wrest power in the Cow belt.

From UP,  Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Mahesh Sharma, Sadhvi  Niranjan Jyoti and Ram Shankar Katheria have been inducted to take the total count from UP to 12. By taking in BJP’s Muslim’s visible face Naqvi, Modi has also tried to respond to growing criticism of not giving adequate response to minorities in his team.

Caste factor
Similarly, in caste-dominated Bihar, which faces Assembly polls next year, making Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Giriraj Singh and Ram Kripal Yadav central ministers is an attempt to send message to different communities of Rajputs, Bhumiars and Yadavs that the party cares for them.

Giriraj Singh does not believe that the caste is the only consideration for offering ministerial stint but did not rule it out completely as he accepted that “social structure” is a factor in arriving at the decision.

But, in the whole exercise, turncoats have also found favours. BJP leaders were slightly disappointed over the induction of Haryana MP Chaudhary Birender Singh, who quit the Congress in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls.

Ram Kripal Yadav, who was once popularly known as RJD chief Lalu Yadav’s Hanuman,  is other turncoat joining Team Modi from Bihar.

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