Focus on downsizing for smart governance; commitment to change work culture

In the first confirmation of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi’s preference for small government, his office said on Sunday that an effort would be made to converge Ministries with one Cabinet Minister heading a cluster of Ministries in complementary sectors.

Mr. Modi will aim at “smart governance,” downsizing the top layers of the government and making an effort for expansion at the grassroots level, a statement from Gujarat Bhawan said.

Extending his idea of “minimum government and maximum governance,” the new Prime Minister will give an impetus to bringing about a change in the work culture and style of governance.

Mr. Modi held a series of meetings with BJP president Rajnath Singh and other leaders through the day. Senior leader Arun Jaitley met senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh functionary Suresh Soni.

Speculation was rife on who would be included in the Cabinet. The names doing the rounds include Mr. Jaitley for Finance, Mr. Rajnath Singh for Home, M. Venkaiah Naidu for Agriculture, Nitin Gadkari for an integrated infrastructure Ministry, Piyush Goel for Commerce and Ravi Shankar Prasad for Law and Justice. Arun Shourie is tipped for the post of Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.

Senior leader Sushma Swaraj is likely to get External Affairs or Defence. Murli Manohar Joshi, Sumitra Mahajan or Karia Munda may be considered for the Speaker’s post. Party patriarch L.K. Advani may take over as NDA chairperson.

Among the allies, Lok Jan Shakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan and Shiv Sena leader Ananth Geete are likely to be in the Ministry. TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu met Mr. Modi and apprised him of the views of his party.

Sources said 30 to 40 Ministers are likely to be sworn in with Mr. Modi.

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