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PM Modi believes in concentrating power, cabinet reshuffle of no use: Congress

Congress senior spokesperson says the Cabinet reshuffle will make no difference to the government as there was lack of talent in the Council of ministers.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2017 21:50 IST
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Cabinet reshuffle,Modi Cabinet reshuffle,Narendra Modi‬
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) and BJP president Amit Shah (centre) have gently nudged out old guards like LK Advani, giving them roles of mentors to the party.(File)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in the “complete concentration of power” which has “effectively destroyed” the Cabinet form of government, the Congress said on Friday, ahead of a reshuffle in the Council of ministers.

Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said the reshuffle will make no difference to the government as there was lack of talent in the Council of ministers.

“I don’t see much talent that he has,” he said.

While the reshuffle, slated to be held on Sunday, was the prerogative of the prime minister, it would make “zero difference”, he said.

“He might appoint anyone and remove anyone and change any portfolios but will make a zero difference because this is the prime minister who believes in the complete concentration of power,” Sharma told reporters here.

The former Union minister said there was a Cabinet form of government in the country, but wondered if it was “functioning like one”.

He said key ministries for more than three years were without a Cabinet minister, which, he added, had never happened. “Why? So that all policy papers which originate from the Cabinet minister’s signature are prepared in the PMO. This is what he was doing as the chief minister of Gujarat. That is exactly what he is doing now to India,” he said.

The Congress leader claimed the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) had “from day one virtually been done away with”, even though, he said, it existed on paper.

These were direct orders from the PMO, he said, “until he was reminded that the word ‘committee’ means two people, more than one. So, the Home Minister was included”.

Modi, he added, had “effectively destroyed” the Cabinet form of government.

“No Cabinet minister including the powerful Finance minister moves a Cabinet note. He is not a member of the ACC. The Defence minister is not a Member of the ACC,” he said.

Asked about the ongoing RSS meet in Vrindavan, Sharma said the outfit still did not have “the character and courage” to say it was the “parent political party” of the BJP.

Calling the RSS an “octopus” with many affiliated bodies, the Congress leader said the RSS claimed to represent India’s culture and Hinduism, but had a political ideology.

“The people, the majority community, to which many of us belong, including myself, have never given the RSS or the BJP the right to represent the Hindus of this country,” he said.

Though the RSS said it was a social and cultural body, no decision was taken in the BJP or in the government without the RSS’s approval, Sharma claimed.

“They should stand up and own that, yes, we control the political decision making of the BJP and the policy making,” he said.

Asked about the likelihood of 21 Congress MLAs of Bihar leaving the party, Sharma said the Congress Legislature Party in Bihar was intact.

“There is no threat. Yes, efforts have been made, which expose the unprincipled politics of the BJP and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. They have failed, and the Congress Party will continue to resist any attempts to weaken its party or the Legislature party,” he said.

On Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh meeting Congress President Sonia Gandhi, he said it was “normal” for Congress CMs to meet the Congress chief.

Sharma added that the Congress Party was united in Himachal Pradesh.

First Published: Sep 01, 2017 21:49 IST