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The Message In PM Modi's Choices For His Cabinet Makeover

NEW DELHI: In selecting his new-look team of ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not limited himself to lawmakers and picked up four retired administrators with a formidable reputation. Two of them, diplomat Hardeep Singh Puri and ex-IAS officer Alphons Kannanthanam, aren’t even members of parliament.

Sources told NDTV that PM Modi was guided by, what is being described in the government, as the 4Ps for progress; passion, proficiency, professional and political acumen. The new ministers – who come from diverse social and economic backgrounds – are going to be strategically placed in key ministries. Sources said they would focus on last mile delivery directly to the people.

Lok Sabha member from Arrah in Bihar, Raj Kumar Singh was the Union Home Secretary before he joined the BJP and contested the 2014 election.

Retired police officer Satya Pal Singh, the lawmaker from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, has been the police chief of Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. Back in the 1990s, he was widely credited for crushing organised crime syndicates in Mumbai.

KJ Alphons too was a bureaucrat who was popularly called the “demolition man” because of the way he went on an overdrive as a land commissioner for the Delhi Development Authority to reclaim encroached land. He quit the Indian Administrative Service in 2006 and won his first election with support of the Left Democratic Front in Kerala He joined the BJP in 2011. Last year, PM Modi appointed him as administrator of Chandigarh but had to withdraw the order after protests by the Punjab government.

Hardeep Singh Puri, on the other hand, ended his a four-decade career in diplomacy as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in New York . He had joined the BJP in early 2014 and was widely expected to be inducted in PM Modis team much earlier. This year, he was appointed as chairman of the Delhi-headquartered think-tank Research and Information System for Developing Countries.

Sources said PM Modi had selected his team members on the basis of their past performance and future potential “with a clear mandate to deliver on his vision of a New India” that focuses on the poor, exploited, vulnerable and deprived segments of society.