Will Jaitley lose Finance?
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]P[/dropcap]rime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to reshuffle his cabinet after the BJP’s rout in the Bihar assembly polls to dump the under-performer and refurbish the image of his Government, but lack of talent pool has hampered his design for a major shakeup.
A report put out by news agency Reuters quoted a close aide of Modi that “some changes could come early next year but the talent pool was too shallow to engineer a major revamp.”
The report said that pressure was mounting on Modi to revive his party’s fortunes as nearly two years after he swept to power on a promise of jobs and growth, the shine is coming off – reforms to revive investment have withered and the economy is stuttering. Rural distress has grown after two successive droughts, it said..
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]”T[/dropcap]he challenge is to identify the right candidates who can deliver fast-paced reforms and policies in their work sphere,” the Prime Minister’s aide said.
The reports talked about the possibility of Fiancée minister Arun Jaitley being moved to Defence portfolio , “ another high-profile role that is crucial to Modi’s geopolitical ambitions and plans to boost Indian industry. But there was no one to take Jaitley’s place in Finance,” the reports said quoting sources.
The report said that an official in Jaitley’s office said they didn’t have any knowledge of a possible reshuffle.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he report also said that Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj has asked to be moved to a portfolio with a more domestic focus.
“Modi tends to keep such decisions close to his chest, and the sources said the final decision lay with the prime minister. They added that he has yet to make up his mind on the changes, and that nothing has been confirmed,” the report said.
Another close aide to the Prime Minister dismissed talk of a reshuffle as speculation, saying it had no basis, it said..
“Compared to the Congress, we have a smaller talent pool and less exposure, but it’s only a matter of time that we expand our base,” the report quoted BJP vice-president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe as saying.
The BJP leader reportedly said Modi has “embarked on the process of fine-tuning the government machinery and also send a concrete signal that inefficiency will be checked.”
After the Reuter’s report created controversy, the BJP leader claimed he was misquoted. “I said that Congress was in power for more time that’s why they have more experienced people. There is absolutely no dearth of talent in BJP and my point was only about lack of exposure,” Sahasrabuddhe said.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]fter the BJP’s defeat in Bihar, there was general impression that the people have not given thumps up the performance of the Government, specially certain key ministries.
The issue of Cabinet expansion could come up for discussion in the meeting of top RSS and BJP leaders in New Delhi in the second week of January.
The report said that Modi may drop some ministers like Giriraj Singh and Niranjan Jyoti, who are in habit of making controversial statements.
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