Perform or perish! PM Modi’s 7 tough messages to the new Cabinet

·4-min read
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PIB
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PIB

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the first meeting of the new Union Cabinet on July 8. The Cabinet expansion took place on July 7, in which 43 ministers — including 36 new faces — were inducted. Most of the new ministers have taken charge.

In a reboot of sorts to meet the challenges of a new world in this pandemic era, PM Modi announced a big overhaul in his Cabinet, increasing its size from 53 to 77 (excluding the prime minister himself), promoting 7 ministers of state and showing the door to 12 non-performers.

Modi gave the new ministers the mantra of success. He discussed seven key themes of performance, delivery and conduct with ministers.

1. Perform or perish

The ministers will be evaluated on performance and performance alone. They need to deliver on the roadmap made for their respective ministries. Nobody, including heavyweights, will be spared if they are not up to the task.

The resignation of 12 ministers, including seniors, is testimony to this fact. The ministries need to work towards fulfilling the objectives of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas’. There is no margin for error at this crucial juncture.

2. Communication & Outreach

The new ministers should communicate effectively with internal as well as external stakeholders. They should meet their predecessors and learn from their experience. They should have a clear line of communication with the Prime Minister’s Office.

Policy and programs should be clearly explained to the officials for implementation. The public relations and publicity activity should be handled in consultation with the Information & Broadcasting ministry.

3. Use social media

The ministers should use social and digital media for propagation of ministry objectives and programs, take feedback from the public and solve grievances of beneficiaries.

Public participation is key to successful democracies. The ministers should imbibe social media governance in their culture.

4. Hit the ground

The pandemic has pushed us behind by almost two years. The new ministers do not have the luxury of time on their hands. They need to pull up their sleeves and hit the ground from the word go. All ministers to be punctual and reach their offices by 9.30 am.

They need to put in long hours and work towards accomplishment of goals. All ministries need to cooperate and contribute to pull the economy out of the crisis precipitated by COVID-19 and put it back on track.

5. Zero tolerance for corruption

The Modi government has zero tolerance for corruption. Ministers need to display utmost honesty and integrity. Modi takes pride in how the National Democratic Alliance government he leads has set an example in this field, unlike the previous UPA regime.

There is not a single charge of corruption against the government. Even in the Rafale case, the Supreme Court has given clean chit to the Modi dispensation. There is no scope for any kickbacks or shady deals.

6. Avoid controversies

The ministers should focus on their work and not make unnecessary statements especially concerning other ministries and government / party’s position on matters of importance.

Their behaviour outside the North / South Block should not negatively impact the image of the government.

Their efforts should be such that their work shines instead of them. They should avoid making ‘unnecessary statements’ in the media, and rather channelize their energies into ministerial work.

7. COVID is not over yet, avoid complacency

Modi emphasised that COVID is not yet over. The photos and videos of people crowding should instil a sense of fear among us, he said during the meeting. This is not a time for carelessness or complacency, a single mistake would have far-reaching impacts and would also weaken the fight to overcome COVID-19, news agency ANI reported quoting sources.

Modi asked ministers that their aim should not be to instil fear but to request people to keep taking all possible precautions. They also need to play a key role in eliminating vaccine hesitancy in their constituencies.

The new ministry is expected to deliver on the agenda of Modi 2.O as well as ensure the party wins the important state elections coming up including the finals in 2024.

The prime minister has built the core of his new team which will lay the foundation of a New India.