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Team Modi: Why Prabhu, Jayant failed to make the cut this time

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 31, 2019

Prabhu’s lack of mass connect, Sinha senior’s tirade against PM seen as reasons

Multiple reasons are being cited for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to drop Suresh Prabhu and Jayant Sinha — the two ace technocrat-turned politicians in his first Cabinet.

While lack of mass connect is one of the reasons for Prabhu’s exit, Sinha had to go because of the baggage created by his father — and a fierce critic of Modi’s persona and policies— former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha.

More than their performance, the duo’s handling of sensitive ministries without “political skill” also seems to be the reason for their exit.

Suresh Prabhu’s journey


Prabhu lead the Railway Ministry for three years and the Commerce Ministry for two years. The Chartered Accountat-turned politician has held several portfolios in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, too, as a representative of the Shiv Sena.

Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he joined the BJP and became the Railways Minister in 2014.

Under the UPA, Railways was handled by senior politicians such as Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mamata Banerjee.

Prabhu even offered resignation owing moral responsibility for a couple of rail accidents during his tenure.

He was shifted to Commerce and Civil Aviation in 2017.

The talks within the BJP are that Prabhu should have tried to ensure more dividends to the BJP because Railways is the Ministry that connects the country.

Prabhu was more like a CEO of the Ministry than a politician who also carried along the interests of his political party.

For Sinha, the fight in the Hazaribagh constituency was not easy compared to the 2014 election.

He also had to be at odds with his father ahead of the elections. BJP insiders said the criticism levelled by his father may also be a reason for dropping him.

Sinha, an alumni of IIT Delhi, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School, has also worked as Minister of State in the Finance Ministry.

Modi’s decision to shift him to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in 2016 was also seen as a warning to him.

Published on May 31, 2019

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