Posts tagged ‘Raisina Hill’


In Modi’s first 100 days, foreign ministry moves fastest on Raisina Hill

With her many visits abroad, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been running the busiest ministry in the new government.

India’s new foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, seems to be running the busiest ministry on Raisina Hill ─ the area of Lutyen’s Delhi that houses key government buildings ─ for the regime led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi’s decision to invite all the heads of state in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation group to his swearing-in ceremony, widely hailed as a good and forward-thinking move, meant that Swaraj had to be on her toes from the get-go. In no time at all, Swaraj and Modi embarked on trips to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal, which an Indian head of state had not officially visited since 1997.

Swaraj has had her hands full, visiting neighbours such as Bangladesh and Myanmar in quick succession while overseeing the successful evacuation of hundreds of stranded Indian citizens from hotspots such as Iraq and Libya and formulating India’s position on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian territory of Gaza. She has just returned from Vietnam and was set to go to Beijing for a trilateral meeting with the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers but the government called off her trip, perhaps in deference to the sensitivities of Japan, where Prime Minister Modi arrived on Sunday for a summit.

On Israel, despite the BJP’s highly favourable stance towards the country, India eventually stuck to its historical position by voting in favour of Palestine at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Many BJP supporters questioned the government’s move, with some saying it was unable to break out of a Congress-era mindset.

The new order at the Ministry of External Affairs has a spring in its heels. From looking to invite all heads of state in the African Union to New Delhi to attracting mixed responses for allowing Modi to cancel talks with Pakistan after its high commissioner met Kashmiri separatist leaders from the Hurriyat Conference, the ministry has been hogging the limelight on Raisina Hill.

via – News. Politics. Culture..


Independence for Intelligence Bureau, tackling Maoism are Home Ministry’s biggest challenges

The Home Ministry is possibly the most crucial cabinet portfolio after the prime minister’s seat. Under Narendra Modi‘s leadership, veteran Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart Rajnath Singh bagged the coveted spot on Raisina Hill, an appointment that was widely predicted during post-poll speculation in the capital, New Delhi.

Singh played the part of Modi’s right-hand man for much of the former Gujarat chief minister’s gruelling campaign. But Singh did much more than help with Modi’s election trail; he was effectively Team Modi’s chief executive, managing the power games and personality clashes erupting in the party and, above all, placating the old guard’s resentment toward Modi’s popularity and apprehension about their status.

For many days after the BJP-led National Democratic Front swept the election, Singh said that he would be glad to continue as the party president and was not angling for a cabinet berth. Yet he got possibly the most important cabinet position, besides the prime minister’s, and accepted it with great alacrity.

But many people did advise him against moving to Raisina Hill’s North Block, where the ministry is located, and to stay on as the party president, a position they said was more powerful than a cabinet berth. But Singh has his own political ambitions and the cabinet berth certainly has greater national prestige.

Today, it’s unclear why exactly Modi’s right-hand man is in the government, especially after Singh’s outburst last week following reports that his son had been upbraided by the prime minister for allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for arranging police postings. The battle for that primacy is between Singh and Arun Jaitley, the finance minister who is doubling up as defence minister, both wily politicians who know how to navigate the BJP and its various spheres of influence.

via – News. Politics. Culture..


* Twisted road to Raisina Hill

Times of India: “The mood was light as Pranab Mukherjee unwound at his residence on Thursday after polling ended. “Well sir, every time we send a Bill to Rashtrapati Bhavan for your approval, please don’t correct the commas, language and grammar,” joked a senior minister.


The compliment to Mukherjee’s reputation for reading the fine print raised a laugh. He could afford to be expansive with ministers Pawan Bansal and V Narayanasamy reporting that voting had gone to plan. But his journey to Rashtrapati Bhawan was not smooth. The last leg began about two months ago when Sonia Gandhi initiated discussions on who should replace Pratibha Patil. Given the unpredictable nature of allies like Mamata Banerjee and Mulayam Singh Yadav, the task wasn’t easy. Some in the Congress argue Sonia could have preferred Hamid Ansari, others feel Mukherjee was on equal footing. PM Manmohan Singh pointed to his utility in government.”

via Twisted road to Raisina Hill – The Times of India.

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