After excluding Def Min from 6 of 8 Cabinet panels, he is included in 4 more, including Political Affairs
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is back on several reconstituted key Cabinet committees after his exclusion from them raised eyebrows in the political circles.
In a Thursday morning notification that gave a clear signal of Rajnath Singh’s diminishing role in decision making, the Modi Government had restricted him to only two of the eight key Cabinet committees. This was seen as a “humiliation” to Rajnath, whose successor in the Home Ministry, Amit Shah, figured in all the committees and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in all but one of them.
But late at night the same day, the Government added Rajnath to four more Cabinet committees, including all-important Political Affairs Committee as well as investment and growth, employment and skill development, and head of Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
Rajnath has been included in all committees in a designation above Amit Shah. Rajnath is out of two committees — appointments, which has traditionally had only PM and Home Minister as members —and accommodation, a relatively low-profile panel.
Incidentally, the number two Minister in the Government — by convention the person who is sworn in right after the Prime Minister — chairs the Cabinet and the Political Affairs Committee in the absence of the Prime Minister. In the absence of Rajnath, Shah would have presided over the meetings of these committees.
Earlier, Rajnath was included in the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and Cabinet Committee Security but was notably missing from the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, which have Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Sitharaman, Narendra Tomar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Harsh Vardhan, Piyush Goyal, Prahlad Joshi and allies Ram Vilas Paswan, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Arvind Sawant as its members.
All the committees bore the stamp of Shah which clearly indicates his growing influence in governance. Shah continues to hold the post of BJP president as the party scouts for his replacement. He has emerged the de facto number two after Modi.
The induction of Shah, who is also the BJP president, in the Government had led many political observers to believe that he would be the second most powerful person in the new order and the Thursday morning notification on the restructured Cabinet committees had stoked the sepculation, only to be scotched by the night.
Shah had chaired an informal meeting of several Cabinet Ministers, including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Commerce and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, besides Sitharaman, on June 4 over crude oil related issues.
Shah will head the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Sitharaman and Railway and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal are its members. Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh and Housing and Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri are special invitees of the Accommodation Committee.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs will be headed by the PM and will have Rajnath, Shah, Gadkari, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, Sitharaman, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Communication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal as its members.
Amid economic slowdown and rising unemployment, the PM on Wednesday constituted two new Cabinet committees under his chairmanship to spur economic growth, investment and employment.
You might also like
- Missing AN-32 found in ruins June 12, 2019
- Scholarships for 5 crore minority students: Naqvi June 12, 2019
- Pilgrimage centres becoming centres of tourism: Shankaracharya June 12, 2019
- Maharaj meets Patel, discusses tourism plans June 12, 2019
- Two expeditions slated to start today for retrieving bodies of climbers June 12, 2019