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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

‘Jhunjhuna ministries': BJP allies get a raw deal as Modi 3.0 falls short on key demands

Only 11 MPs from the allies have been included in the 72-strong council of ministers. Of these, only five are in the cabinet

Pheroze L. Vincent New Delhi Published 11.06.24, 06:54 AM
Chandrababu Naidu.

Chandrababu Naidu. PTI file picture

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s selection of ministers has fallen significantly short of the demands of several of the BJP’s key allies.

Only 11 MPs from the allies have been included in the 72-strong council of ministers. Of these, only five are in the cabinet.

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From the south, Janata Dal Secular leader H.D. Kumaraswamy has got heavy industries and steel, and the Telugu Desam Party’s Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu has been given civil aviation.

From Bihar, Jitan Ram Manjhi, the lone MP from the Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular, has been given micro, small and medium enterprises; Rajiv Ranjan Singh of the Janata Dal United has secured panchayati raj as well as fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying; and Chirag Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) has been assigned food processing industries.

The Shiv Sena’s Jadhav Prataprao Ganpatrao and the Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Jayant Chaudhary have been appointed ministers of state with independent charge of a ministry each. They have also been named as minister of state (junior minister) for a second ministry each.

Ramdas Athawale of the Republican Party of India (Athawale) has been accommodated as MoS in one ministry, and Anupriya Patel of the Apna Dal (Soneylal) as MoS in two ministries. Both are one-MP parties.

Former Bihar chief minister and socialist icon Karpoori Thakur’s son Ram Nath Thakur of the JDU has been appointed MoS agriculture and farmers welfare. Chandra Sekhar Pemmasani of the Desam is MoS rural development and MoS communications.

The 16-MP Desam wanted the Speaker’s post and at least four key portfolios. It also wanted a berth for its regional ally, the Jana Sena Party, which has not been included in the ministry.

The JDU, which won 12 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, wanted three portfolios including the railways. Chirag too had pushed for the railways, which his late father Ram Vilas once held.

If the allies have been denied in quantity, Sanjay Singh, MP from the Aam Aadmi Party which is part of the INDIA bloc, flagged how they have even been denied
in quality.

“Neither home nor defence nor finance nor foreign nor commerce. Neither road nor rail nor education nor health. Neither agriculture nor water power. Neither petroleum nor telecommunications,” he tweeted.

“NDA’s constituent parties got only ‘jhunjhuna ministries’. This is very insulting!”

Jhunjhuna” means a child’s rattle but has also been used sarcastically to refer to the illuminated campaign symbols that NDA leaders held in their hands while campaigning with Modi.

Congress spokesperson and MP Jairam Ramesh tweeted: “Praful Patel has refused an offer from a one-third Pradhan Mantri to be in his Ministry saying that the offer is a demotion.”

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