The Hush Post|5:12 pm |one-minute-read|
The Narendra Modi government has reconstituted six Cabinet committees. It has also set up two new ones, on investment and employment. The union home minister Amit Shah has emerged as the second most powerful minister after the Prime Minister.
This clearly pushes the union defence Rajnath Singh much lower in terms of seniority.
The total number of Cabinet committees, which act as the final decision-makers on important political, economic and security matters, has now reached eight. Six of these panels will be headed by PM Narendra Modi, the remaining two will be led by Home Minister Amit Shah.
The six panels to be overseen by Modi deal with appointments, economic affairs, political affairs, security, investment and growth, and employment and skill development.
Shah has been given the task of leading the Cabinet committees on accommodation and parliamentary affairs, both of which were overseen by his predecessor in the Home Ministry, Rajnath Singh, in the first Modi government. Shah is also part of the remaining six committees.
It basically means that by leading two committees, Amit Shah has got the role earlier held by Rajnath Singh in the previous Modi government.
In the first term of Modi, Singh would be the in charge when the Prime Minister was travelling outside India. He headed the Cabinet committees on accommodation and parliamentary affairs and was part of the remaining four.
Defence Minister Singh, who was the second minister to be sworn in after Modi on 23 May, is technically the most senior Cabinet member after the PM. In the reconstituted Cabinet committees, however, Singh is part of just two — economic affairs and security — and leads none.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is a member of seven committees, including those on security, economic affairs, political affairs, and parliamentary affairs.
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari is part of four committees — economic affairs, investment & growth, political affairs, and accommodation — while his Railways counterpart Piyush Goyal is a member of five committees.
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, another debutant in the new administration, is part of two committees — security and economic affairs.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has been inducted into two Cabinet committees — on economic affairs and political affairs — while Shiv Sena leader and Heavy Industries Minister Arvind Ganpat Sawant joins the Cabinet committee on political affairs. Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has been inducted into two committees: Parliamentary affairs and political affairs.