New Delhi: India’s new home minister, Amit Shah, is now the second-most powerful person in India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A longstanding confidante of Modi from the latter’s days as the Gujarat chief minister, Shah has risen to become the president of the Bharatiya Janata Party and now is the Union minister for home affairs.
Today, Shah finds himself in every important Cabinet in Modi Sarkar 2.0. From the newly constituted Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth and Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development, Shah is included in the five other reconstituted Cabinet committees. The Cabinet Committee on Appointments has only two ministers – Modi and Shah.
Except this, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman also features in all other Cabinet committees. Apart from Modi, Shah and Sitharaman, the other members of reconstituted Cabinet committees are:
- Cabinet Committee on Security: defence minister Rajnath Singh, foreign minister S Jaishankar.
- Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs: road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, agriculture minister Narendra Tomar, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, railway minister Piyush Goyal, parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi, food minister Ram Vilas Paswan, food-processing minister Harsimrat Badal, heavy industries minister Arvind Sawant.
- Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs: social justice minister Thaawarchand Gehlot, environment minister Prakash Javadekar, Tomar, Prasad and Joshi.
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs: Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, chemicals and fertilizers minister Sadananda Gowda, Rajnath Singh, Sitharaman, Jaishankar, Gadkari, Goyal, Tomar, Prasad and Harsimrat Badal.
- Cabinet Committee on Accommodations: Sitharaman, Gadkari, Goyal. Apart from them, urban development minister Hardeep Puri and minister of state in the PMO Jitendra Singh are special invitees in the panel.
When Narendra Modi assumed office for the first time in 2014, he abolished all UPA-era empowered group of ministers/group of ministers and group of ministers, which looked on special issues. Whether Modi will have new type of EGoMs/GoMs or create Cabinet committees for similar purposes remains to be seen. Also, what remains to be seen is if similar panels are formed, how many of them will see Amit Shah as a member.