Bureaucrats rule the roost in Narendra Modi cabinet

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses with new members of cabinet after the reshuffle at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI Photo (PTI9_3_2017_000041B) *** Local Caption ***

NEW DELHI: In an attempt to bring in more professionalism in governance, PM Narendra Modi has selected four former administrators—three bureaucrats and one ex-top police officer for his new team of ministers.

Coming to them, two of them Satya Pal Singh and RK Singh are first-time MPs, on the other hand, the other two, former diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri and ex-IAS officer KJ Alphons aren’t even members of parliament.

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BJP leaders are of the opinion that the four administrators will be able to bring in professional perspective and proficiency to the government. “They have ample administrative and governance experience. They have been strategically placed in the ministries. The purpose is to bring in more efficiency in governance as the government has only two years left for the next General election in the year 2019,” pointed out a senior BJP leader on the condition of anonymity.

Talking about R K Singh, who hails from Bihar was the Union Home Secretary before he joined the BJP and contested the 2014 election. Singh has been known for his no-nonsense attitude and has been given charge of power as minister of state.

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On the other hand, retired top police officer of Mumbai, Satya Pal Singh, the lawmaker from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, is known for playing important part in crushing organised crime syndicates in Mumbai in 90s. He has been given charge of HRD and water resources, river development and ganga rejuvenation as minister of state.

And then there is KJ Alphons who was a bureaucrat, popularly called the ‘demolition man’ when he was with Delhi Development Authority.  As a land commissioner with the land agency in Delhi, he played a key role in removing encroachments from government land.

However, bureaucrats joining government drew sharp reactions from some politicians. BSP chief Mayawati criticised the fact that retired bureaucrats were being relied on more than politicians. “This is new drama being enacted by the BJP. In place of politicians, retired bureaucrats are being relied on more in the expansion and an attempt is being made to propagate the agenda of RSS,” Mayawati said.