Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, for instance, was said to be eyeing a more high-profile portfolio. Instead, he was divested of Drinking Water & Sanitation, which had been given to him after Gurudas Kamat refused to take charge of this ministry last year. Perceived as close to Rahul, Ramesh’s stance on issues such as the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill was said to be guided by the the former’s political agenda — or so it was projected.
Among the young Ministers of State who were promoted and given Independent charge were Rahul’s close aide and Alwar MP Jitendra Singh (Youth Affairs & Sports), Jyotiraditya Scindia (Power) and Sachin Pilot (Corporate Affairs). Apart from the fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wanted to give a bigger role to young ministers in the decision-making process, they are all known to be competent ministers who showed a keen interest in their work.
While Minister of State Jitin Prasada was not promoted, he has been given two new portfolios of Defence and Human Resource Development. Prasada is also known to be a competent minister. However, there was no significant change in the status of Congress MP from Uttar Pradesh R P N Singh, although he did get the more high-profile Home portfolio.
Rahul was also said to have played a role in the induction of Ranee Narah (MoS, Tribal Affairs), an avid cricketer and former Assam Youth Congress president, as well as East Arunachal MP Ninong Ering (MoS, Minority Affairs) and Lalchand Kataria from Rajasthan (MoS, Defence). Former MoS, External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor’s comeback is also attributed to his association with Rahul.
That performance, and not sheer youth, was the criteria was also evident from the resignation of Minister of State for Water Resources and Minority Affairs Vincent Pala on Saturday. Arun Yadav and Prateek Patil were two other young MPs who had joined the Manmohan Singh government as part of the ‘youth brigade’. Yadav was dropped last year due to non-performance, although Patil has managed to survive this time.
Congress sources said that many young MPs, including Rahul’s close aide Meenakshi Natarajan, Jyoti Mirdha, Harish Choudhary and Manicka Tagore, among others, were eager to join the government but got little encouragement from Rahul.
“My understanding is that he does not want to send out a message that anybody who works with him automatically gets entitled to ministries and party tickets,” said a close aide of Rahul. He is, however, likely to give these young MPs an opportunity to prove their mettle by giving them organisational responsibility.
while it is alright to choose past performance records and insist on yardstick metrics to get active portfolios it is disappointing to note that Rahul does endeavor to take up responsibility or to perform. A good Leader has to take up responsibility and show consistent performance before elevation. Was these done in the case of Rahul?