PM Modi’s cabinet expansion similar to shuffling a pack of cards, says Shiv Sena
The Shiv Sena said there have been some shocking decisions in Sunday’s cabinet expansion such as the elevation of Nirmala Sitharaman to the defence ministry, handing over railways to Piyush GoyalUpdated: Sep 04, 2017 10:41 IST
The Shiv Sena on Monday said the recent cabinet expansion was the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) political need, and the Narendra Modi-led government is having to still conduct experiments despite it being in power for three years now.
In an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece, Saamana, the Shiv Sena said there have been some shocking decisions in Sunday’s cabinet expansion such as the elevation of Nirmala Sitharaman to the defence ministry, handing over railways to Piyush Goyal and shifting Nitin Gadkari as in charge of the Ganga rejuvenation project.
“A cabinet expansion is like shuffling a pack of cards. A joker or a jack may become a king, but the king’s condition may be like a jack. There doesn’t seem to be anything different in the recent cabinet reshuffle,” the party said in its mouthpiece.
The party also questioned the urgency of the cabinet reshuffle, and as to why Prime Minister Narendra Modi felt like he should complete the exercise before his official visit to China. “It’s not as if Xi Jinping would have been upset if Modi had not carried the list of the new council of ministers in his pocket, and would have once again started tensions at Doklam. The cards of the cabinet could have easily been reshuffled even after Modi’s trip,” the Shiv Sena said.
The party added, only those names who Modi and BJP President Amit Shah had in mind have made it to the list, and it is said that this is the party’s preparation for the 2019 election. “To win elections and form governments has anyway become a political and national game. So the pawns on the government’s council are also picked accordingly,” the Shiv Sena said.
Although there were no formal discussions, the party was expecting at least one additional cabinet portfolio that Sena leaders said was due to it a long time ago.
The party, which has 18 parliamentarians in the Lok Sabha, currently has one minister in Modi’s cabinet – Anant Geete, in charge of the heavy industries and public sector enterprises ministry.
In the first cabinet reshuffle itself in November 2014, the Shiv Sena was expecting additional portfolios when Modi inducted 21 new ministers. However, after much drama, the Sena, which did not get a piece of the pie, boycotted the oath-taking ceremony. Sena’s Desai who left for Delhi for the ceremony on Thackeray’s orders returned to Mumbai from the Delhi airport itself.