Modi ji's master stroke - Cannot appoint PS/PA without PMO approval
MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears determined to deliver on his promises and ensure that his 100-day agenda does not meet the same fate as his predecessor Manmohan Singh's did five years ago. This is keeping ministers as well as bureaucrats on their toes, a number of people confirmed to ET on the condition of anonymity.
When a senior BJP leader from Maharashtra sought to know from a party colleague why he was in such a hurry to return to Delhi after his felicitation in his constituency for having made it to the council of ministers in the Modi government, the minister replied, "I have to prepare the 100-day agenda."
The leader pointed out that the agenda could well be prepared by the officials in the minister's department. "You don't know Modi," the minister shot back. "He calls me on the office landline to ensure that I am working in the office."
Another minister, belonging to an alliance partner of the BJP, got a stern message when he made it known that he was not happy with his portfolio, "Get working, or there are others in line."
The ministers don't just have to work harder to meet their targets; they don't have the freedom to choose their personal secretaries either. A number of ministers from BJP said they had been told that they could not appoint personal secretaries without the permission of the PMO.
"If a minister has to appoint a PA (personal assistant), he has to first submit the list of shortlisted candidates to the PMO and will be allowed to appoint the PA only after a nod from the PMO," said a minister.
Team Modi is expected to follow more guidelines. "The prime minister has given us some strict guidelines. People of the country have given us a mandate, so they expect results from us. The PM is acutely conscious of the fact.
He has set certain goals. I cannot reveal what those goals are, but we have been told to adhere to them," said another minister.
The situation is even tougher for babu, who had been used to relatively lax regimes at the Centre in the past. As a result, Gujarat bureaucrats are suddenly in demand, with their counterparts in Delhi frantically calling them up. "They want to know how we handled and coped with Modi," said a babu from Gujarat. more