Rajnath Singh left out of four key Cabinet committees in the morning but back in all by evening amid intense media glare

Amid intense media gaze, the name of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been added to four more Cabinet Committees on Thursday after initial exclusion from all but two of these key ministerial panels. He was also given a space in two new panels formed Thursday to spur growth and job creation.

The redrafting of the committees, within a span of just 16 hours from the first announcement, appears to be an attempt to avoid the media's glare, which was quick to point out that Singh was left out of the key panels, despite being number two in the government as per protocol. This was in stark contrast to Home Minister Amit Shah's position, who is part of all 10 panels, raising a question over a new pecking order in the government with Shah perceived to be the de facto number two.

By convention, the person who takes oath right after the prime minister (Singh in this case) is usually considered the number two in the government, and presides over the Cabinet and the political affairs committee in the absence of the prime minister.

After the amended composition, Singh will also be a part of Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Investment & Growth as well as Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development.

Earlier among the eight key Cabinet Committees reconstituted by the Centre, Singh was part of only two Committees ie Cabinet Committee on Security and Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. He will now also chair the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs. The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs takes all important political decisions in the ruling dispensation. Singh headed the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs in the last government. The panel takes all decisions pertaining to Parliament matters.

 Rajnath Singh left out of four key Cabinet committees in the morning but back in all by evening amid intense media glare

File image of defence minister Rajnath Singh. ANI

Home Minister Amit Shah finds representation in all of them while Prime Minister is on-board six committees barring Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs and Cabinet Committee on Accommodation.

The lone Cabinet Committee having only Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Shah on board is Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. Union Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman, has been roped-in for six committees ie Cabinet Committee on Accommodation, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Security, Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth, on Employment & Skill Development.

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, is in Cabinet Committee on Accommodation, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Investment & Growth.

Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan is in Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development. While Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce & Industry is on-board five committees ie Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development, Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth, Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and Cabinet Committee on Accommodation.

Interestingly, Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Women & Child Development and Textiles has found a place among Special Invitees in the Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development but has not found a place as a member in any of the eight Committees. The eight committees which have been reconstituted include - Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, Cabinet Committee on Accommodation, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Cabinet Committee on Security, Cabinet Committee on Investment and Growth, Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill Development.

Narendra Modi-led NDA stormed back into power for a second term at the Centre after bagging 353 seats in the 543-member Lower House of the Parliament. Members of the new Cabinet took oath on 30 May and were assigned their respective portfolios the next day.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jun 07, 2019 09:07:55 IST