NEW DELHI: As the Cabinet portfolios were announced on Tuesday morning, it was clear that the Prime Minister has done the balancing act by deciding on key ministries.
With BJP chief Rajnath Singh getting the Home portfolio, and even seated next to Modi in the Cabinet meeting, the pecking order in the NDA Government became clear. The portfolio will allow Rajnath to engage with CM and keep tabs on the law and order situation.
With the MEA under her, Sushma Swaraj joins the elite club of four ministries in the Cabinet Committee on Security. She will be assisted by V K Singh who has been made her MoS, apart from being given the independent charge of the Northeast, a move being seen as a message to China which had tried to move closer to the border in the region.
Arun Jaitley was given the portfolios of Finance and Defence. With price rise and economy being the main concerns of the NDA, Modi has entrusted him to present the budget and send out a message to the India Inc. He will have Nirmala Sitharaman as the MoS for Finance and Corporate Affairs. Still not an MP, she will also hold the independent charge of Commerce and Industry.
By clubbing together several ministries, Modi has created the lean Cabinet that he had promised.
Venkaiah Naidu, who has been given Urban Development, and Housing and Urban Poverty and Parliamentary Affairs, will be assisted by Prakash Javadekar and Santosh Gangwar as MoS. Javadekar also got the portfolios of I&B and Environment and Forests. The MoEF will have a separate department on climate change.
Uma Bharti who was campaigning for a cleaner Ganga has been given the charge of the newly created Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Nitin Gadkari has been given his favourite Road Transport, Highways, clubbed with Shipping.