Who would you think would be the decision makers in the Narendra Modi Government? The usual answer would be the powerful ministers in charge of the key ministries.
Let us see ministry by ministry and check who could be the real decision makers.
Amit Shah is the Union Home Minister. He has handled the same portfolio for Narendra Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. It is common knowledge that Amit Shah calls him – Saheb, meaning Boss / Sir. He has been to jail, been exiled from Gujarat for two years and continues to be a henchman for Narendra Modi for all his tasks. He has been an expert in following the instructions of Narendra Modi and delivering accordingly, even as President of the BJP.
With this background, what to expect from the Union Home Minister? Who would be the decision-maker for this ministry?
When the Balakot strikes happened, Nirmala Sitharaman was the Defence Minister. Does anyone remember a statement from her about the strikes? Did she lead from the front for her ministry? She actually gave a free hand to Narendra Modi to hog the limelight and take the full credit for the strikes. Apart from rebutting Rafale allegations, it is hard to see the role played by her as a Defence Minister. Apart from being a Yes Boss to Narendra Modi of course.
With this background, what to expect from the Union Finance Minister? Who would be the decision-maker for this ministry?
External Affairs Ministry
Apart from being on Twitter, Sushma Swaraj as External Affairs Minister had no role to play for all five years of Narendra Modi 1.0. Both of them knew it. Narendra Modi had a pro-active role, to be more precise, the only role in shaping the foreign policy of the country – hugging foreign leaders. It was clear that Narendra Modi was directly working with the Secretary of the External Affairs Ministry for all practical purposes. So, what does he do in 2.0? Appoint the erstwhile Secretary as the Minister.
With this background, what to expect from the Union External Affairs Minister? Who would be the decision-maker for this ministry?
This is a trophy ministry, having no actual work, apart from arms procurements. The three arms of the armed forces can take of their own selves provided their expenses are taken care of, which is controlled by the Finance Minister, hence the Prime Minister. As far as arms procurement is concerned, it will be from other countries, by default. As seen in the case of Rafale, all the negotiations are done directly by the Prime Minister with the Defence Ministry having no say.
With this background, what to expect from the Union Defence Minister? Who would be the decision-maker for this ministry?
The Ministers who were dropped/sidelined from Narendra Modi 1.0
Apart from being dropped/refused to join, what could be the common thread for Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Maneka Gandhi, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Suresh Prabhu, Jayant Sinha, Uma Bharati. All of them were independent-minded and could / did take the initiative of their own. They had their own character. All these did not gel with the alpha male persona of Narendra Modi, so the drop/refusal to join.
Piyush Goyal and Nitin Gadkari continue to hold their respective portfolios. This is actually a demotion, with none of the two considered for senior ministries / President of BJP.
All the above gives a clear message to other Ministers that there is only one decision-maker in the Government and they should follow the diktat should they want to save their jobs / move ahead in the pecking order – like the non-entities of Ramesh Pokhriyal, Thawarchand Gehlot, Narendra Tomar, Om Birla. Who the heck these people are and what have they done to deserve their position? Apart from saying Yes Boss to Narendra Modi.
The situation in BJP – The Party
BJP has one person, one position rule, supposedly. Amit Shah is currently holding two positions – Home Minister and the Party President. Everybody knows that JP Nadda will be given this position ceremonially. But even this is not being done. Can anyone in the party say a word about this?
No. There is only one decision-maker here as well.
On the face of it, it is a democratically elected Government. Just that Members of Parliament have no role to play apart from making up the numbers in this dysfunctional democracy. Council of Ministers knows that they are a mere rubber stamp to what the Boss decides.
For all practical purposes, India has a one-man rule. Also known as autocracy/dictatorship.