Modi’s Ministers Vanishing!
It’s true that balance is the key in life; fire must fear water.
This double engine BJP government takes this dialogue seriously.
To keep this fear alive, a periodic change in ministerial position is observed. The government is the same, but 70 ministers changed in five years. Ministers still posted since 2014 are wary.
One year ago, Nitin Gadkari described Nehru and Vajpayee as two ideal leaders, without caring for reactions. PM Modi can praise Nehru (unwillingly of course), but can others dare the same? What happened next is not surprising!
Nitin Gadkari was removed from the core committee. This is the same Niti
n Gadkari who is said to be most efficient minister of government. His downfall in hierarchy surprised everyone – because Nitin Gadkari has performed impressively as a minister year after year.
It is believed Gadkari’s sarcasm and free thinking did not sit well with the top level. At the time of writing this article, he still has ministry.
Do you know how many ministers from 2014 remain in the ministry?
BJP ministers vanish at the same rate as Congress leaders resign. Is it because of performance or some other reason, like political?
Who were the 2014 BJP cabinet ministers? Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Manhar Parrikar, Ram Vilas Paswan are no more with us (I mean not in the BJP ministry anymore). Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Anant Geete gone because of change in alliance.
But what of the remaining lot? Once a minister, active on Twitter, Ravi Shankar Prasad and his existence is only on social media now. Ravi Shankar Prasad’s Bihar hopes faded when Nitish left alliance with BJP. He was planning social media guidelines – issues related to IT cell, media info or Nano chip in Rs 2000 note!? Currently, Ravi Shankar Prasad is opposition to Nitish Kumar in Bihar.
Prakash Javadekar could not maintain his previous role, as organizations approached him for relief to OTT platforms from article 69A of IT Act. According to Section 69 in the IT Act – The government has the power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource, if sovereignty and integrity of India, defence is compromised.
Javadekar could not handle this complicated issue – instead existing cinematograph act was amended, allowing government to revoke any film despite censor board clearance. Relation in industry spoiled, Javadekar was removed from the ministry. Currently he throws political comments at TRS.
Harsh Vardhan is known for his wisdom. Dr. Harsh Vardhan was the health minister during the pandemic. A guideline was released for people advocating dietary measure, yoga, Ayurvedic herbs. Indian Medical Association was not pleased. Harsh Vardhan said that the pandemic was over in the first wave itself. Sometime later, more deadly second wave (the Delta wave) was observed. After being proven wrong, Harsh Vardhan is now planning to revive politics of Delhi by attacking AAP’s liquor policy.
Varun Gandhi demanded action on Lakhimpur Kheri incident. Varun and mother Maneka Gandhi removed from national executive team. Off late, Varun Gandhi keeps low profile in BJP.
Uma Bharti, who played a critical role in the Babri Masjid issue, but, after the first cabinet not much role of her was seen. This is not the Atal-Advani’s BJP – she must know that! Some time ago, Uma Bharti hurled a stone at a liquor shop in Bhopal. Her supporters rejoiced this great deed of her, and for a few hours Uma Bharti got the spotlight.
K. J. Alphons, famous as revolution man, ex-IAS officer, demolished many illegal constructions and became popular. Ashighly educated people aren’t much to be found in BJP, K.J. Alphons was given utmost respect – handed over Ministry of Tourism command. But, it was revoked in the year 2019. Rajya Sabha member till July 2022, now K.J. Alphons is no longer on any govt. post.
Suresh Prabhu, trusted chartered accountant, left Shiv Sena to join the BJP, as railway minister. He resigned on moral responsibility after the railway accident in 2017. Then, BJP handed over commerce and civil aviation to him (which is the safest ministry of all). But, after another reshuffle on 2019, Suresh Prabhu was released from all responsibilities.
M.J. Akbar, once external affairs minister, caught up in controversy for personal internal affairs, resigned after allegations of sexual harassment on him. Where M.J. Akbar is occupied now is unknown, but not in any ministry as of now.
Giriraj Singh defeated Kanhaiya Kumar in election, well known for public comments, left ministerial position in 2021. Giriraj Singh is vocal about his Bihari origins; his departure from ministry was shocking. Singh is playing a key role in handling BJP politics in Bihar now, but it seems difficult at the moment.
Radha Mohan Singh, agriculture minister, also shown the door. Singh was also accused of favouring Andhra-based Nagarjuna Chemicals for a contract pertaining to soil-testing kits, but he has vehemently refuted these allegations. After Singh’s departure, Narendra Singh Tomar was given agriculture ministry. Due to multiple shuffles in the ministry, many a times BJP spokesperson forget who the minister in charge is.
Babul Surpiyo joined BJP in 2014, and served as the minister for environment and climate change. He was the most sought after leader. But slowly, playback singer Babul Supriyo distanced himself as he was upset by Us v/s Them politics. Babul left politics in 2021, but his heart encouraged him to join TMC and is now an MLA.
Ramesh Pokhriyal, popularly known for his good morning messages on Twitter, his position was revoked in 2021. Pokhriyal made limelight as education minister for saying astrology is superior. He is known for comments like astrology is above science, statements related to plastic surgery, nuclear tests, etc. Now, he has disappeared from the news.
Brijendra Singh joined BJP in 2014 after spending 40 years in Congress. He handled steel ministry from 2016-19, resigned after his son Brijendra Singh got Lok Sabha ticket from Hisar.
Sadananda Gowda has switched ministries like no other – from railway to law and justice, then statistical and programme implementation, then chemical and fertilizer, and lastly, outside of the council of ministers (only to be removed from all). He climbed the ladder in 2014, but since then it’s only a downward spiral.
Why is this happening? Apart from the double engine duo – Modi and Shah – why are all others unable to sustain in the BJP government?
- First, BALANCE. Chair of CM taken from one hand, core committee membership offered on another. Examples include, Devendra Fadnavis, B. S. Yediyurappa, Sarbananda Sonowal.
- Second, CONTROL. With the fear of being derailed by Yogi Adityanath, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and the likes, the double engine duo – Modi and Shah – moulded the popular leaders as decision followers, not decision takers. Thus, they have no role in the parliamentary board.
- Third, SURPRISE ELEMENT. Candidates in Congress are informed prior about their removal, but there are surprises in BJP. Sudden changes on big positions happen overnight – all leaders kept in check.
- Fourth, NEW RECRUITS. BJP leaves no stone unturned in accepting new faces. For example, Himanta Biswa Sarma of Congress made Assam CM.
19 ministers took oath as cabinet ministers in 2014 – only four are standing strong, such as, Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Narendra Singh Tomar and Smriti Irani. And today, all of these are in stress too. All four are cautious. Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh have decided to take a hiatus from politics, Ranjnath Singh and Narendra Tomar have taken a vow of silence, and Smriti Irani is declining from HRD Minister to the ‘Ministry of Rahul Gandhi’ (pun intended).
All of these is a planned strategy of this double-engine government, and not a random turn of events – which benefits BJP in the elections.
In 2024, how many of the four remaining ministers, do you think, will keep their position and how many new recruits?
[Images from different sources]
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