The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) Society has been made Congress-mukt for all practical purposes.
Mallikarjun Kharge, Karan Singh and Jairam Ramesh of the Congress find no place in the reconstituted body announced on Tuesday night.
The recast comes six months ahead of schedule and at a time the NMML is seeing an overhaul with the construction of the Museum of Prime Ministers and not just a space dedicated exclusively to the country’s first Premier.
The new NMML is a tighter ship with 28 members, compared to the 34 in the outgoing Society.
Other prominent names who have been dropped include former minister M.J. Akbar, former army chief V.P. Malik, Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayanamurthy, historian Nayanjot Lahiri, economist Bibek Debroy, space scientist K. Kasturirangan and television anchor Arnab Goswami.
In the new Society, the culture ministry has gone with the pecking order in the cabinet, including both defence minister Rajnath Singh and home minister Amit Shah. The defence minister was not a member of the outgoing Society.
The prominent new names are television anchor Rajat Sharma and adman Prasoon Joshi. Other entrants are Kishore Makwana, author of Modi: Common Man’s PM; Kapil Kapoor, a former pro-vice-chancellor of JNU and a scholar in linguistics; and Kamlesh Joshipura, former vice-chancellor of Saurashtra University.
The new Society is heavily loaded with either ministers or government functionaries, reducing the space for “independent” voices.
The only chance of a Congress-inclined person finding a seat on this table presided over by Modi is as representative of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund which has ex-officio membership in the Society.