Congress on Tuesday dubbed as a “vote-garnering exercise” the Union Cabinet expansion with an eye on poll-bound states and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “tall claim” of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ has been reduced to another “gimmick”.
After the dropping of five ministers, today’s expansion effected by Modi took the total strength of his Council of Ministers to 78, just keeping it under the constitution limit of 15 per cent of the total strength of the legislature.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters that with a “top heavy” Cabinet Modi’s “tall claim” of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’ has been reduced to another gimmick.
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The much-publicised Cabinet expansion has proved to be “much ado about nothing”, Surjewala said, adding the exercise reflects “devaluation ofgovernment and deficit of talent and experience in BJP”.
“Sole aim of expansion is a ‘vote garnering exercise’ looking at election going States and a panic reaction against declining political graph of BJP in UP, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.”
“It has nothing to do with improving lives of 125 crore Indians or providing a government dedicated to the cause of solving their problems,” he said.
“Team Modi has become a collection of courtiers, sycophants, non-performers and hate mongers,” he added.
Surjewala also wondered what will now happen to Subramanian Swamy, “the Finance Minister in waiting”. The controversial BJP MP, a known detractor of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, does not figure in the exercise.
Coming down hard on the Prime Minister, he said an important facet of Cabinet expansion is that the “incompetent and non-performing” ministers have not been punished or dropped nor has any reward been given to the talent.
“This reflects a bankruptcy of vision and futuristic thinking,” he said.
He claimed that another clear message is the protection given to hate mongers and those propagating the agenda of division and deception.
“Had this not been true, PM would have taken action against ministers like Smriti Irani, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Gen V K Singh, Giriraj Singh, Sanjiv Baliyan, Mahesh Sharma and half a dozen others. Obviously, all these ministers are acting with complete knowledge and complicity of the Prime Minister,” he claimed.
Faulting the prime minister for “completely ignoring” the NDA allies, he said the entire exercise has been rendered to cosmetic changes aimed at propagating Modi as a larger than life figure.
“It is about ‘I, Me, Myself’. Even otherwise, in the autocratic Modi regime, ministers and Cabinet are the ‘fall guys’ with every publicity driven achievements going to the account of Modi,” he added.