There were no surprises in the choice of Cabinet Ministers in the Dhami Government that took oath on Wednesday. The eight Cabinet colleagues of Chief Minister Dhami are quite representative of a cross-section of the BJP’s support base in the state. They also balance out the power equation within the party. Satpal Maharaj, Subodh Uniyal and Rekha Arya have been rewarded for their unwavering support to the previous government when other inductees from the Congress were playing opportunistic politics. Saurav Bahuguna has won his spurs, again, for the patience displayed by his father, Vijay Bahuguna. An important section of society has been acknowledged by the appointment of Premchand Agarwal. The powerful and supportive community of ex-servicemen has been given its due with the repetition of Ganesh Joshi in the ministerial post.
Dhan Singh Rawat represents the core of the BJP ideology that is required to ensure commitment to the larger objectives of the RSS. Chandan Ram Das has not just been included because he represents a seat reserved for the Scheduled Castes, but also for his long innings as a party stalwart. The challenge will be in filling the remaining positions. If the idea is to see how well the MLAs perform in the House, or to dangle the lure of ministerial positions so that all remain in line, there is just that much scope in the strategy. It is important that these be filled soon so that proper governance can be provided. Selecting the candidates will be the hard part but opportunities need to be given to the truly deserving.
The presence of Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Party President JP Nadda, UP CM Yogi Adityanath and other CMs of BJP ruled states along with important leaders at the swearing-in is symbolic of the support promised by the Centre and the party to Uttarakhand’s future progress. Similar shows of solidarity will be held at the swearing-in UP and elsewhere. This underlines the party’s awareness that they are all in it together – there is little place for personal ambitions in the highly competitive world of present day politics.
The BJP and Pushkar Singh Dhami have promised much and, in the current international situation, there will be little place for maneuver. The state government should be clear on why it was elected and not be deceived by its own propaganda. The people believe it can deliver good governance and that is what it should focus on, instead of chasing after populist promises that may well be beyond its powers to deliver.