Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Shiv Sena's Anant Geete are likely to figure in a compact Narendra Modi cabinet which will involve a radical restructuring of various ministries with one cabinet minister heading a cluster of departments in complementary sectors. (JPN/Agencies)
In a clear indication that Modi is opting for major changes in the structure of the government, a statement issued by his secretariat here tonight said that ‘focus is on convergence in the activities of various ministries where one cabinet minister will be heading a cluster of ministries which are working in complementary sectors’.
Modi is eventually aiming at ‘smart governance’ where the top layers of Government will be downsized and there would be expansionist the grass root level.
In forming his cabinet, Modi has adopted the principle of "minimum government and maximum governance" and also "rationalization with a commitment to bring a change in the work culture and style of governance," the statement issued from Gujarat Bhawan said.
The statement came at the end of another day of guessing game about the names of ministers to figure in the Modi cabinet that will be sworn in at 6 pm on Monday.
Till late Sunday night, even Rashtrapati Bhavan had received no list of ministers from the Prime Minister-designate.
However, indications were that Jaitley would get Finance, Rajnath will be in charge of Home and Gadkari one of the infrastructure ministries.
Geete would also have a Cabinet portfolio.
Other names making the rounds for the cabinet include Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Uma Bharti, Harsh Vardhan and Piyush Goel.
NDA ally TDP has recommended the name of party MP Ashok Gajapathi Raju, who won from Vizianagaram Lok Sabha constituency, to be inducted into the Union Cabinet.
Sources said Shiromani Akali Dal, an old ally of BJP, may find a place in the Union Cabinet and the SAD leadership is learnt to have suggested the names of Harsimrat Badal and Naresh Gujral.
Once party president Rajnath Singh joins the Cabinet, his replacement would be worked out along with restructuring of the party and the name of JP Nadda is learnt to have been cleared by the party leadership and RSS to replace Rajnath.
The statement on behalf of Modi said he is aware of the ‘high expectations’ of the people. For whole of four days, he was busy with the formation of the ministry and discussing various alternatives to effective governance, convergence and coordination between various ministries, it said.
Modi is eventually aiming at ‘smart governance’ where the top layers of Government will be downsized and there would be expansionist the grass root level, the statement said.
"Earlier, there was political instability and multi-party governments and the ministry formation was almost done in a bifurcated manner," it said.
The Prime Minister-designate, it said, tried in a rational manner to club like-minded departments in the ministry formation in such a way to ‘convert entity of assembled ministry to organic entity’.
The statement went on to add that integrated and inter-connected nature of governance is being focused in this ‘new dent’.
In the ministry formation, the process of development will be ‘more inclusive’ than it has been, it said.
At the outset, the statement said that Modi has made a ‘dent in formation of ministries’.
"It is a good beginning in transforming entity of assembled ministries to organic ministries. It will bring more coordination between different departments and will be more effective and bring a spee in process," it said.
Sources said that the number of ministers would be between 30 and 35 which would be much smaller than usual. However, an expansion of the ministry may take place later.
There was no clarity on the role of Advani with some reports suggesting that he may not be made Lok Sabha Speaker which he is said to favour but he may continue as NDA chairman.
In that case, Sumitra Mahajan, a senior BJP Parliamentarian and former minister, may become the Speaker.
Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Shiv Sena's Anant Geete are likely to figure in a compact Narendra Modi cabinet which will involve a radical restructuring of various ministries with one cabinet minister heading a cluster of departments in complementary sectors.