Rajnath Singh and committees

On 6/6/2019 when an official release was issued about cabinet committees, Rajnath Singh was only on 2 committees –Cabinet Committee on Security and Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. Amit Shah was on 8 committees. In 16 hours Rajnath Singh was on 4 more committees: Political Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs, Investment and Growth, and Employment and Skill Development. In all six committees Singh was No. 2, Narendra Modi being No. 1. Amit Shah who was No. 2 became No. 3.
As per Indian Express first release was at 5.57 a.m., second at 10.19 p.m.
In previous government Rajnath Singh was Home Minister. Amit Shah was not a minister. In present government Rajnath Singh is Defence Minister, Amit Shah is Home Minister. During the swearing-in on 30/5/2019 Rajnath Singh had taken oath after Modi and Amit Shah had taken oath after Rajnath Singh.
Something happened between 30/5/2019 and 6/6/2019. Home Minister Amit Shah presided over a meeting at Home Ministry with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar. Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, and Dharmendra Pradhan were in previous government and are senior to Amit Shah. Piyush Goyal was also Finance Minister during the absence of Arun Jaitley. S. Jaishankar as Foreign Minister holds an important portfolio. People interpreted this meeting as Amit Shah being de facto Deputy Prime Minister.
Amit Shah is BJP President. He was Rajya Sabha member. He won Lok Sabha election from Gandhi Nagar and resigned from Rajya Sabha. Rajnath Singh was BJP President and CM of UP. Amit Shah was not CM.
Rajnath Singh’s office denied that he had threated to quit the cabinet. It is said that he had protested to RSS about the slight and RSS had intervened. If that is the case, it means Narendra Modi is beholden to RSS and there are limits on his power. Whatever may be, Amit Shah’s rise would have been resented by senior ministers. JD(U) had refused symbolic representation in Modi cabinet and Rajnath Singh’s resignation or disgruntlement would have been a bad beginning for Modi’s second term as PM.

Updated: June 7, 2019 — 5:48 pm

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