The Congress on Friday said the impending reshuffle/expansion of the Union Cabinet will make “zero difference” as Prime Minister Narendra Modi believed in total concentration of power, adding he had destroyed the Cabinet form of government.
“It is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to shuffle and reshuffle his Cabinet. I don’t see much talent that he has. He may appoint anyone and remove anyone and change any portfolios — but it will make zero difference. Because, the Prime Minister believes in complete concentration of power,” party spokesperson Anand Sharma said here.
“… there is a Cabinet form of government, but is it functioning so? Key ministries are without Cabinet Ministers for more than three years, which has never happened before.”
“No Cabinet Minister, including Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) moves a Cabinet note. He is not a member of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. The Defence Minister is also not a member.”
The Congress leader said this was so because all policy papers are prepared in the Prime Minister’s Office. “This is what he has been doing as the Gujarat Chief Minister. That’s exactly what he is doing now to India,” he added.
Sharma, a former Union Commerce Minister, said Modi had virtually done away with the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), even though it existed on paper.
“The ACC, for appointing officials of joint secretary rank and above, used to have three signatures. A note originated under the signature of the Cabinet Minister concerned, signed by the Home Minister and lastly by the Prime Minister. Then only the process was deemed completed,” said Sharma.
“Direct orders used to come from the PMO until Modi was reminded that word ‘committee’ meant two people or more. Then, the Home Minister was also included.”
Taking a dig, the Congress leader added: “It cannot be denied either by the Prime Minister or Home Minister Rajnath Singh that the latter gets the file only after Modi signs it. So, it is post facto (approval).”