With BJP chief Amit Shah getting the weighty Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) portfolio, the message Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have sent out is that his political sherpa will be the Number 2 in the government for all practical purposes.
In other words, Shah perhaps won’t be confined to Home but will oversee the functioning of most ministers, freeing up Modi to concentrate on larger issues, including global concerns. Due to `perfect chemistry’ between Modi and Amit Shah, the later is practically about to emerge as a `defacto PM’ in day to day affairs of the governance.
It may be recalled that except for new Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and a few others, the rest are junior to Shah and have taken orders from him in the past five years. This makes him to monitor functioning of other minister’s too.
With Shah manning the MHA, BJP leaders expect the focus to sharpen on implementing the NRC (National Register of Citizens) across the country, besides pursuing the party’s hard line on J&K, including abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A.
Other major task before Amit Shah will be to take concrete steps towards construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya, for which he works in close coordination with RSS top leadership.
Adding MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) to Nitin Gadkari’s Road and Surface Transport portfolio indicates Modi prioritising the issue of unemployment and the need to address it on a war footing. As during his first term Modi failed in this area and Gadkari is known as a `task master’, he put the burden of meeting aspirations of Indian youth.
The surprise pick of career bureaucrat S Jaishankar as the Minister of External Affairs is in line with Modi’s ambitions to emerge a global leader with impact, while ironing out irritants in India’s relations with China, including the conclusion of border talks.