Regional Parties Overlooked in Modi's New Cabinet

Regional Parties Overlooked in Modi’s New Cabinet

BJP Dominates Northeast

In the latest reshuffle of the Central Ministry under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the exclusion of two crucial regional parties, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), has stirred controversy and disappointment among their supporters. Despite the recent general elections in June, which saw the swearing-in of a majority of new ministers from the Northeastern states, the representatives from both AGP and UPPL, comprising members from both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, failed to secure any seats in the revamped ministry.

This omission comes as a significant setback, contrary to the expectations of the regional parties and their constituents. Notably, among the representatives, former Rajya Sabha member Birajendra Prasad Baishya and UPPL’s Rangja Khungur Narzary managed to retain their seats. However, the recent Lok Sabha elections witnessed the loss of senior leader Phani Bhushan Choudhury’s seat, juxtaposed with the victory of UPPL’s Jyotindra Nath Tana in Arunachal Pradesh.

The newly constituted Modi ministry comprises a total of 71 positions, encompassing 30 Cabinet ministers, five independent ministers, and 36 ministers of state. Remarkably, the elections saw the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerge victorious in nearly half of the Northeast’s 17 parliamentary seats, including Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, and Mizoram. The BJP’s dominance in these regions has led to a sense of contentment within the party, particularly with its share of seats.

However, the BJP’s success in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Tripura, where it secured more than half of the seats, came as a surprise amidst significant challenges posed by multiple regional parties in the remaining states. In this context, the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), an organization aimed at providing a platform for regional parties, faced criticism for its failure to ensure adequate representation for its constituents in the new ministry.

The region’s deep-rooted cultural ties with Hinduism, particularly evident in Manipur, where tensions between various groups have persisted for decades, have remained intact. The Modi government’s initiatives, such as the provision of citizenship to influential Hindu groups, have been perceived as advantageous for the BJP in the region. Despite facing prolonged political opposition in Manipur, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP’s remarkable victory in the recent election underscores its growing influence.

The recent reshuffle of the Central Ministry has underscored the BJP’s growing dominance in the Northeast, with the party securing victories in almost half of the region’s parliamentary seats. However, the exclusion of key regional parties like the Asom Gana Parishad and the United People’s Party Liberal from ministerial positions highlights the challenges of ensuring inclusive governance in the region.

Arunachal Pradesh, known for its stable political situation independent of central interference, maintained its trend in the recent elections. The BJP’s success in strengthening its position in both parliamentary seats of the state may have contributed to its overall victory in the Northeast.

Given the complex geographical conditions of the region and its proximity to several foreign countries, addressing the various challenges faced by the Northeast is imperative. Consequently, the presence of influential central ministers in the region becomes crucial for effective governance. While the Modi ministry has appointed two cabinet-level ministers from the Northeast, there remains a pressing need for broader representation to address the diverse demographics of the region effectively.

while the recent reshuffle of the Central Ministry has brought significant changes, especially in the representation of the Northeast, it has also highlighted the challenges faced by regional parties in securing adequate representation. The BJP’s dominance in the region underscores the party’s growing influence, but it also raises questions about the need for a more inclusive approach to governance, particularly in addressing the complex issues of the Northeast. As the region continues to grapple with various socio-political and economic challenges, it is crucial for the central government to engage with all stakeholders effectively and ensure that the voices of the region’s diverse population are heard and represented in policymaking.

Cabinet Ministers in the Government of India:

  1. Narendra Modi – Prime Minister
  2. Rajnath Singh – Minister of Defence
  3. Amit Shah – Minister of Home Affairs
  4. Nitin Gadkari – Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
  5. Nirmala Sitharaman – Minister of Finance; Minister of Corporate Affairs
  6. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar – Minister of External Affairs
  7. Piyush Goyal – Minister of Commerce and Industry; Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; Minister of Textiles
  8. Dharmendra Pradhan – Minister of Education; Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
  9. Pralhad Joshi – Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of Coal; Minister of Mines
  10. Narendra Singh Tomar – Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare; Minister of Rural Development; Minister of Panchayati Raj
  11. Arjun Munda – Minister of Tribal Affairs
  12. Smriti Irani – Minister of Women and Child Development; Minister of Textiles
  13. Jyotiraditya Scindia – Minister of Civil Aviation
  14. Anurag Singh Thakur – Minister of Information and Broadcasting; Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports
  15. Sarbananda Sonowal – Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways; Minister of AYUSH
  16. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi – Minister of Minority Affairs
  17. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat – Minister of Jal Shakti
  18. Kiren Rijiju – Minister of Law and Justice
  19. Anurag Thakur – Minister of Information and Broadcasting; Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports
  20. Parshottam Rupala – Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying
  21. Pashupati Kumar Paras – Minister of Food Processing Industries
  22. Virendra Kumar – Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment
  23. Giriraj Singh – Minister of Rural Development; Minister of Panchayati Raj; Minister of Textiles
  24. Jeevan Kulkarni – Minister of Labour and Employment
  25. Rajeev Chandrasekhar – Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship