Contrary to popular believe, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh retained his high profile job. Being a trusted lieutenant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he has been instrumental in implementing dreams projects, schemes and programme of the agriculture sector which have potential to transform rural economy. Several schemes were being directly monitored by the Prime Minister Office.
In a major cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, Singh not only retained his ministry and emerged as more stronger in terms of support he is expected to get from his junior ministers and cabinet colleague Tomar, who has been given the responsibility of Rural Development Ministry.
Tomar replaces seasoned Birender Singh, who was spearheading rural development schemes. His performance was not below the expectation, however, there was some trust deficit and the Prime Minister wanted a saffron man on this job and Tomar had proved his credential as ‘hard and smart worker’ while functioning as Steel and Mines Minister so far. Excellent performance and need of a smart worker at Rural Development made him favourite of the Prime Minister for this coveted job which would be a catalyst for rural transformation. Rural Development Ministry strives for synergies and convergence with many agricultural schemes.
Tomar said, “The real development of India is closely linked to the development of rural India.All efforts would be made to give concrete shape to Prime Minister’s dream of inclusive development. The last general budget embodied the philosophy of rural re-generation and the budget allocation for rural schemes were testimony for the same.”
Modi effected sweeping changes in his Council of Ministers, adding Prakash Javadekar to the Cabinet with Human Resource Development Ministry. Moreover, 19 new ministers were given charges. The rejig clearly signalled that economic and social sector especially those impact rural India need dynamic leadership. It was second major reshuffle of the council of ministers since the Modi government took charge in May 2014. The changes has also been made with an eye to the rest of its five-year term and assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh next year.
Ahluwalia, who has been entrusted the job of Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers welfare, is a seasoned and dynamic leaders. He has, on many occasions, bailed out the government in Parliamentary debate. His previous experience would certainly strengthen Singh in speedy implementation of schemes and mission. After taking charge he said, “ Accelerate the development of agriculture sector and reaching out to the farmers who are on the last ladder will be the focus.”
The Prime Minister has given a clear message that a better performance is expected from his ministers manning social sector portfolios. The social sector constitutes the core of Modi’s Budget priority towards "gaon" (villages), "garib" (the poor) and "kisan" (farmers).The five ministers, who were shown doors, handled social sector portfolios.
Radha Mohan Singh’s gain is multiple. The agriculture ministry would be manned by three seasoned leaders. They are Ahluwalia, Parshottam Rupala and Sudarshan Bhagat. Rupala was the agriculture minister in Modi-led state government in Gujarat. From synergy point of view, he has also given charge of MoS for Panchayati Raj.