Rewarding performance, recognising loyalty
With many ministers holding more than one portfolio each, the Cabinet expansion was needed.
By inducting experience, youth, first time MPs, turncoats and technocrats, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent signals that he means both business and politics. In bringing Suresh Prabhu as a BJP candidate, he has literally put ties with the Shiv Sena on the line, but Prabhu is a competent person. The choice of a lone party MP from West Bengal, Babul Supriyo, indicates that the BJP would like to increase its presence in that State through him.
Railways and defence are critical portfolios; hence responsibilities to Prabhu and Manohar Parrikar respectively are justified. They might not be political heavyweights but they are known to be tough and honest executioners. Last but never the least, Modi has given one clear message: He is ready to go alone in more State elections, if needed.