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Karuna John
6 Jul 2016 . 5 min read

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet Reshuffle Is A Long Term Investment


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The new Union Cabinet, is massive, and perhaps one of the most male dominated too. But no one seems to have addressed that point yet, busy as they are discussing how Smriti Irani has ‘lost’ her plum posting as the human resource development minister and has been ‘shunted’ to the textile ministry, seen as less important. Though no one explains the reason why it has to be projected that way.

Cabinet reshuffle as reported by  Scroll says, “Prakash Javadekar, who was ‘promoted’ to Cabinet minister earlier in the day, was made Minister of Human Resource and Development. Smriti Irani ‘lost’ her HRD portfolio and was given the Textiles Ministry…”  That’s the general interpretation of this move. Of course the same tone is not used for the male ministers whose portfolios have also been shuffled around.

One does, not have to agree or disagree with Ms Irani’s politics, and public statement to see that her re-appointment is seen as a near punishment posting. Or has she been put in a ministry, which is likely to remain non controversial, as she prepares for Uttar Pradesh’s state elections next year?

Imagine this election scenario: Smriti Z Irani V/s, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra V/s , Mayawati V/s Dimple Yadav!  

Uttar Pradesh elections are said to be the most watched after the general elections and all-woman led one will make global headlines for sure.  The expanded Cabinet has two new inductees from the state, as ministers of state Anupriya Patel: Health & Family Welfare and Krishna Raj: Women & Child Development. Taking the number of women in the cabinet to 10. There are 68, male ministers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who heads the Cabinet. At 78, this is one of the biggest in recent years.

Who are the two new women ministers?

Anupriya Patel (35, Apna Dal): Minister of State, Health & Family Welfare.

She graduated from the Lady Shri Ram College, has an MBA and won the assembly elections from Rohaniya (UP) in 2012 assembly as candidate of Apna Dal formed by her father,  Sonelal Patel, in 1994.  He died in 2009, and Anupriya took his legacy forward  winning the 2014 lok Sabha election from Mirzapur. Her Krishna, who is the Apna Dal president, is said to have been upset with her leaning towards the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The two are said to have taken their differences to court.

For now, Anupriya will be an asset to the BJP, and if successful in UP, is likely to play an important role in the 2019 general election. Her rise, is also said to be an omnious sign for Smriti Irani.

Krishna Raj (49, BJP): Minister of State, Women & Child Development.

She is a senior state-level politician who has grown been with the Bhartiya Janata Party for a while.  She contested and won the  2014 Lok Sabha election from Shahjahanpur  in Uttar Pradesh, and has been a Member, of the UP Legislative Assembly multiple times before that. As an MP, she has been a member of Joint Parliament committee on land acquisition bill and the Petitions and energy committee.

Apart from the two new inductees, the other women ministers in the Cabinet are, well known, as seasoned politicians and command a loyal following. Thier names and faces are recognisable across the country and abroad. They are:

Women Cabinet Ministers:

  • Sushma Swaraj:  External Affairs

  • Najma A. Heptulla: Minority Affairs

  • Maneka Sanjay Gandhi: Women & Child Development

  • Smriti Zubin Irani: Textiles

  • Uma Bharati: Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation

  • Harsimrat Kaur Badal: Food Processing Industries

Women Ministers of State:

  • Anupriya Patel: Health & Family Welfare

  • Krishna Raj: Women & Child Development

  • Nirmala Sitharaman: Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge)

  • Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti: Food Processing Industries

This is the complete list, published in the Indian Express today.

image not our own


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Karuna John
Woman. Pan Indian. Alive. Aware. Arisen. Learns one new thing every day. Fixes bigots. Journalist. Word Curator. Storyteller. http://www.sheroes.in

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