Thirty-six new ministers joined the government and four high-profile ministers were made to quit in PM Modi’s mega cabinet reboot of 2021. The number of cabinet ministers has been boosted from 21 to 30 in the current reshuffle. The number of junior ministers has gone up too, from 23 to 45. There are fewer junior ministers with Independent Charge – the figure has dropped from nine to two. A number of key portfolios – including Health, Law, Information and Technology and Railways – have gone to new ministers and junior ministers who got a promotion in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers.
PM Modi now has 77 ministers, nearly half of them new. Anurag Thakur and Hardeep Puri are among 15 new cabinet ministers. Sarbananda Sonowal, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Narayan Rane, Bhupender Yadav, and Ashwini Vaishnaw were also sworn in as cabinet ministers.
It appears that the Prime Minister has tried to re-seize the political initiative with his Wednesday reshuffle of the council of ministers. Since April, he has been on the back foot. When the second Covid-19 wave hit the country, many died reportedly from oxygen shortages and a general lack of government preparedness. Losing West Bengal also did not help, particularly when the Prime Minister and Home Minister had campaigned intensively in the state.
There was the inept handling of the second Covid wave, and Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has had to go.
There was mass migration last year, with lakhs trudging back to their villages, something India will take a long time to live down, and labour minister Santosh Gangwar was shown the door.
Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal was axed for the confusion that prevails in the education sector.
Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad’s handling of the impasse with Twitter and the increased criticism of Modi on the microblogging site, may have cost Prasad his job.
These are some of the ministers who lost their job and analysts have tried to figure the reason for that happening. As aforementioned, most ministers were apparently fired for their inability to perform their tasks efficiently. However, many analysts have also asserted that that all of this is nothing but an attempt to blame the ministers for all the mishap while the PM remains seeminly innocent of all the moral crimes the government did during and outside of the pandemic.
The new cabinet also saw a rise in ministers from the marginalized sections of the society such as women and the OBCs.