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Modi Government Lacks Teamwork
by Dr. Rajinder Puri Bookmark and Share

A fortnight after reports alleging misconduct by Home Minister (HM) Mr. Rajnath Singh’s son circulated in the media, and after the HM publicly expressed his anguish, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) issued a denial and claimed it was unaware of such reports. Is this believable?

Earlier the Prime Minister (PM) had snubbed the HM by forcing him to remove the Personal Assistant (PA) he had appointed. The PM passed an order that the PA appointed by every minister had first to get the PM’s clearance and no officer earlier attached to any previous government’s minister may be appointed. This was quickly violated by the PM himself after he appointed to his personal staff an officer who had served Mr. Manmohan Singh for the last five years! Subsequently the PM changed the procedure of appointing officers by the HM. Earlier the HM selected senior officials for appointment before the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) confirmed the appointment. The procedure is reversed. Now the Establishment Officer through the Cabinet Secretary will obtain the approval of the PM. Only after that will the HM sign on the dotted line to formally confirm the appointment. This same procedure of appointing senior officials extends to all ministers in the Modi cabinet.

Will not officials appointed through this procedure naturally have a tendency to bypass their respective ministers for the necessary interaction for administration and directly approach the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)? What contributory role will the HM and his colleagues perform except to read out scripts prepared by the PMO in parliament? Why appoint any ministers at all in that case?

Admirers of the PM and possibly the PM himself might view his latest decision as a sign of strength. They would be wrong. This decision reveals the PM’s weakness. He is jeopardizing the procedural system of administration to exercise personal control. This nation’s vast administrative challenge cannot effectively be met by a single person however competent he might be. Without delegating responsibility to a good team of ministers there is no prospect of achieving good governance. Good governance depends on teamwork. It is the leader’s responsibility to ensure good teamwork.

That is why this writer describes the PM’s action as weak. He betrays sense of insecurity.

If the PM lacks confidence in his HM he should replace him by an individual of his choice. That would indicate strength. Does the PM have the guts?

If the HM is compelled to act as a robot of the PMO he should resign from office. Does he have the guts?

Neither showed guts. Both preferred compromise. Let governance be ruined!

The Home Minister had to reverse his Secretary’s decision to remove the Uttarakhand Governor after the latter petitioned the Supreme Court. Does this not indicate that the new procedure of appointing officials jeopardizes proper coordination between ministers and officials?

Maintaining a hollow facade of unity is meaningless. That unfortunately seems the prevalent political priority. Parties stay united but with dissidence and sabotage within!

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Comments on this Article

Comment Indians accept authority with glee being subservient to mighty is in our blood.No wonder we are a nation of coolies.Another trait is that those so called "leaders" are only comfortable in an environment where there is no overt questioning of their ideas,actions.Best example is the functioning of Amma and her vegetables.Some of the pictures I saw of Modi interacting with his team of ministers point in the direction of authority and a bunch of frightened human beings.That is why what we see as change with Modi at the helm is the first step for citizens to start questioning their leaders ridding the culture of dynasty or hero worship.Second step is to create a culture of questioning without getting too aggressive or violent.This will lead to better leadership.I don't think even a "leader" like Modi has enough education/knowledge to function in a confident manner to work in a culture of questioning minds.

08/29/2014 00:00 AM

Comment "United for implementing common minimum programme of thier interest,oh yes,
to spread hatred between people and to enjoy public money on false promises."

Farhat ul-Ain Farooqui
08/28/2014 23:38 PM

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