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Modi 3.0 portfolio allocation ensures continuity

By retaining the core team of ministers handling crucial portfolios from his previous team, he has signalled that there will be no significant departures from his last government's economic, political, and strategic roadmap despite the failure to secure a simple majority in the Lok Sabha.

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: June 10, 2024, 08:28 AM - 4 mins read

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs the first meeting of his new Cabinet, attended by the newly-inducted ministers, at the prime minister's 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence, in New Delhi on Monday, June 10, 2024.

Modi 3.0 portfolio allocation ensures continuity

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs the first meeting of his new Cabinet, attended by the newly-inducted ministers, at the prime minister's 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence, in New Delhi on Monday, June 10, 2024.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi's allocation of portfolios to his chosen cabinet members has sent out a firm message of continuity and steady progression on the policy front.

 

By retaining the core team of ministers handling crucial portfolios from his previous team, he has signalled that there will be no significant departures from his last government's economic, political, and strategic roadmap despite the failure to secure a simple majority in the Lok Sabha.

 

Amit Shah’s continuing as the Home Minister is the most significant indicator of this continuum approach. Having spearheaded a resolute domestic agenda focused on illegal immigration, internal security and integrating Jammu and Kashmir, Shah, heading the Home Ministry, ensures an aggressive approach against anti-national and divisive forces.

 

His reappointment also makes it amply clear that the government remains unfazed by the opposition's strident criticism of his long-time political aid and friend and the policies he pursues.

 

Similarly, Nirmala Sitharaman's continuation as the head of the all-powerful Finance Ministry is a testament to the Prime Minister's faith in her stewardship of the economy during the turbulent years of the COVID-19 pandemic. With Sitharaman also retaining the Corporate Affairs portfolio, the government's economic policies—from privatisation to production-linked incentives to managing the fiscal deficit—are likely unwavering.

 

In national security and global engagement, Modi has opted for policy steadiness. By keeping trusted lieutenants like Rajnath Singh in Defence and S Jaishankar in External Affairs in their crucial roles, he has ruled out any course correction in India's military modernisation, robust strategic outlook vis-a-vis Pakistan and China, and increasingly assertive position globally.

 

The decision to continue with Nitin Gadkari as the Road Transport and Highways minister also underscores the government's thrust on infrastructure creation as a vital economic multiplier that will remain undiminished. His track record in driving key connectivity projects, from roads and highways and his vital inputs to projects like the Ganga rejuvenation plan has been recognised.

 

However, while continuity is the overarching theme of this cabinet exercise, Modi has also rewarded some astute political managers and attempted course correction where warranted. Jyotiraditya Scindia and Prahlad Joshi were inducted into the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs after their impressive work as ministers in his previous government.

 

Another prudent move is entrusting the sensitive Railway, IT, and Civil Aviation portfolios to Ashwini Vaishnaw, who is seen as an effective administrator and considered one of Modi's closest aides. This indicates the Prime Minister's intent to improve governance efficiency in these critical infrastructure ministries.

 

The Modi cabinet has seven former chief ministers, including himself, and he hopes to use their experience in areas like Agriculture, Rural Development and Minority Affairs. The Prime Minister’s careful calibration exercise aims to attain two key objectives.

 

One, to project stability and consistency and two, to regain the political momentum that had ebbed during the second half of his previous term by bringing in some new, younger faces and attempting course correction in governance areas that had become laggard.

 

As the Prime Minister sets out on his third term, having pulled off a remarkable hat-trick by winning a third successive Lok Sabha poll, this nuanced allotment of portfolios seems intended to convey his determination to stay firmly grooved on the twin tracks of economic development and promoting nationalism.

 

The alliance partners have been suitably placed in his cabinet based on his perception of their ability to deliver rather than their “speculated” demands for select portfolios.

 

With the prime minister hitting the ground running, there is little doubt that the world will see India’s image and influence grow. To make his point of strength, Pakistan was left out of the list of invites from among the neighbours due to its reported promotion of terror incidents in India.

 

The first response to this allotment of portfolios is expected to be seen from the Indian Stock Market, giving a thumbs up by attaining new heights in the coming days.

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