Cabinet reshuffle | An admission that Modi government failed to manage pandemic: Congress

“Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has become the fall guy for Centre’s failures”

July 07, 2021 11:03 pm | Updated July 08, 2021 03:38 am IST - New Delhi

Harsh Vardhan and wife, Nutan Goel, getting the vaccine in March.

Harsh Vardhan and wife, Nutan Goel, getting the vaccine in March.

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Wednesday that the resignation of Harsh Vardhan as the Health Minister during the Cabinet reshuffle is an admission that the Narendra Modi government had “utterly failed” in managing the corona pandemic.

Ministers must realise that if things go wrong they will be the fall guys, he said in a couple of tweets.

“The resignations of the Union Health Minister and the MoS Health is a candid confession that the Modi government has utterly failed in managing the pandemic. There is a lesson for Ministers in these resignations. If things go right the credit will go to the PM, if things go wrong the Minister will be the fall guy. That is the price a Minister pays for implicit obedience and unquestioning subservience,” the former Finance Minister said on twitter.

His party colleague Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “Poor Dr. Harsh Vardhan, a good man has been made a scapegoat for monumental failures at the highest level — nowhere else”.

Mr. Chidambaram also said since Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had resigned as the Education Minister, the National Education Policy (NEP) should also be scrapped.

Cabinet reshuffle

Commenting on the exercise to rejig the Cabinet, party general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was not a cabinet expansion, but “distributing the spoils of power” and “defector adjustment programme”.

PM Modi's Cabinet reshuffle updates

He said if performance and governance were the criteria, then Defence Minister Rajnath Singh should have been sacked, as the Chinese had occupied Indian territory and refused to vacate; Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should have gone, as the economic growth was now minus 8% and Home Minister Amit Shah should have stepped down as naxal attacks and mob lynchings continued “unabated”.

Also read: List of Ministers and their portfolios in Narendra Modi's cabinet

“If performance and governance was the criteria then the first person to be sacked should be the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, for he has brought the government, the entire country to a standstill, progress, peace and harmony has been thrown in the dustbin of history and the present Prime Minister would be remembered as an autocrat...,” Mr Surjewala added.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, tweeted, “Congratulations to the newly appointed ministers in the GoI. I am hopeful that the new cabinet will work with great integrity & honesty for the nation.I am optimistic that @PMOIndia” will not wrest all the powers & ministers will be able to delegate their responsibilities freely.”

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