Is Bigger really Better???? Definitely not if you take the Ministers list of the Union Government of India. It has been 2 weeks since the people of India gave a decisive mandate in favour of Congress and UPA and the Government has been very indecisive in finalizing the portfolios. 19 Cabinet Ministers and Manmohan Singh were sworn in on Friday. The second and the final set of ministers were supposed to be sworn in on Tuesday (25th May) but it had to put off due to last-minute wrangling over berths and ministries..
Finally today we came to know the rest of the ministers who would be sworn in tomorrow (28th May). It came as a shocker to me when I saw that 59 more ministers would be inducted into the Government which would increase the tally of the Union Cabinet to 78 which is just 2 short of the maximum no. that the constitution allows. A politician was asked why such a gigantic Cabinet and he replies “A Cricket team is allowed 11 players on the field and we have not crossed the limit of 80 so it’s fine “. IPL hangover I guess….For all these years I had thought that politicians are very clever in mincing their words but today even that seems to have gone for a toss.
One of the reasons for postponement of the second list of Ministers was that Sonia Gandhi wanted to ensure that there would be the right balance of regions and caste in the new Cabinet. But I don’t see that in the list announced today. It’s a very imbalanced Cabinet as far as I am concerned. Its ridiculous to see my state AP which has 33 MP’s has got only Cabinet and 4 MoS and a state like TN where Congress Ally DMK won 18 seats has got 3 Cabinet Berths and some MoS which just goes to show that Congress is still trying to please its allies despite having won the maximum no. of seats in 2 decades. Karnataka sent 4 MPS and got 3 cabinet!!!!!!!!!!! UP , the most populous state which just got one Cabinet. It can’t get worse than this. Believe it or not 1/3rd(26) of the total MP’s are from the South [:O]
Some Names which were announced disappointed me. Among them was Vilas Rao Deshmukh who just 6 months back was seen with his actor son Ritesh Deshmukh and Ram Gopal Verma and the High command had to step in and he was out of the top post. Now he is being given a berth in the Cabinet which is sick. I can only see one reason behind this. Shivraj Patil who retired was from Marathwada and Vilas Rao is from that region too. This is a very clever move keeping in mind the elections in Maharashtra 2 years from now. There was much hype about bringing more youth this time but even that has not been fulfilled. I can hardly count 10 out of the 79, the youngest being a 28 year women Agatha Sangma.
Finally this is my verdict. The jumbo ministry fails to impress me one bit with no young MP of Cabinet rank. Very few young Mps are Ministers of States. What happened to Rahul’s promise of the young being given more repsentation? The average age of the ministers is 66!.Pressures from regional parties like the DMK have spoiled the charm of the ministry. Deshmukh and the other 2 former CMs in the second list failed to impress as CMs. Deshmukh in particular who was sacked as Mahrashtra CM because of his failure to prevent the Mumbai attacks on 26/11 finds a place!. What a disgrace!.
I wonder what are the portfolios going to be like for these 78 ministers. Be sure to comment if you have some in mind. Being a Minister has become more of a status symbol these days – “An Ambassador with lal bathi”. There were talks of downsizing the Cabinet this time but exactly opposite has happened. One thing is for sure that there is not going to be Expansion of Cabinet in the next 5 years. The only thing that can happen is reshuffling.