Modi government 2.0 hit the ground running. The first decisions of first Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held in less than 24 hours of his Council of Ministers being sworn-in by the President, are pro-poor, pro-farmer, pro-unorganised labor and for welfare of families of soldiers killed in terror and Naxal attacks.
The range of decisions taken are significant in at least five counts — first, by doing so he has consolidated gains of massive mandate he got in these elections, current and potential support at the bottom of social and economic pyramid.
Second, it gives a sense of the direction in which the Modi government in its second term would be headed to. This completely reverses the charge made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi against Prime Minister Modi that it was “suit boot Sarkar”. Modi had earlier said his government was dedicated to the poor and by Friday’s Cabinet decision he has given an indication to his resolve and intent.
Third, even as a month and half long election process was going on and the government formation took its own time, the process of policy making was on and the bureaucrats were accordingly directed to be ready with a Cabinet note to be approved in first meeting of the Union Cabinet. That shows the kind of confidence Modi had about the outcome of these elections, his return to power.
Normally a cabinet note is prepared by the ministry and the minister of the department concerned and goes to the Cabinet Secretary and the PMO for consideration and approval. There are instances when files moves back and forth for weeks and even months before it is put up to the Cabinet. In this case, the speed of file movement is noteworthy, essentially meaning that Modi was clear as to what he wants for the first Cabinet meeting. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that it was a PMO driven exercise.
Fourth, in his first day of office, the prime minister has come true to four things listed at the top of the ruling BJP’s 2019 vision document, which was released in the first week of April, days ahead of the first phase of polling. The vision document opened with nation first and the things listed as top priority were national security, welfare of farmers, animal husbandry and welfare of small traders.