NEW DELHI, Nov 10 � Inept handling of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is believed to have led Prime Minister Narendra Modi to remove Sarbananda Sonowal and hand over the Ministry to Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
Expansion of the nearly six-month-old Modi Government is bad news for the North-east and Assam. Sonowal, who enjoyed independent status, is now left with only Sports and Youth Affairs. In yesterday�s reshuffle Rudy was given independent status and the ministries of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, besides Parliamentary Affairs.
Sources said the Prime Minister�s Office was unhappy with Sonowal�s handling of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. With Modi laying thrust on Skill Development in a big way, Sonowal�s performance was found to be wanting, said sources.
Incidentally, Skill Development was bifurcated from Labour Ministry and Entrepreneurship from Union Finance Ministry, which had led to protests from bureaucratic circles. Later, the issue was sorted out and a Presidential notification was specially issued notifying the changes.
Sonowal�s office however, tried to give a different spin to the development, stating that he has been left with �light responsibilities� to enable him to concentrate on the 2016 Assembly polls.
Meanwhile, the Assam BJP too was left high and dry, with none of the MPs making it to the Council of Ministers. Ramen Deka was tipped to be appointed as a Minister of State, but was left out, said sources.
Both N Rio of Nagaland, who had quit as chief minister of the State and PA Sangma, were also left in the lurch.
Meanwhile, sharp differences with General (retd) VK Singh over the handling of the DoNER Ministry also led to his exit from the Ministry. Singh first had differences with his Secretary Rajiv Tackroo, leading to a total standstill in the Ministry. The situation led to intervention by the PMO before the Secretary was shunted out. However, Singh could not save his job.