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Modi will have to reboot and recalibrate after Bihar – both his politics and his economics. In politics, he has to share more power with allies and also reach out to the non-Congress opposition to get bills passed. If he does not do this, he will face more belligerence from them, especially if the BJP loses Bihar.

More important, he will have to drop some of the loudmouths from his own party in the ministry – the Mahesh Sharmas and Sadhvis who serve no purpose but to embarrass him. Modi can only gain by offering more berths to his allies, as long as they are willing to play ball his way. This means giving more ministries to sensible allies like the TDP, the LJP and some of the smaller parties. The Shiv Sena can also be given more berths, but only if it comes to a clear understanding on playing fair in Maharashtra.

In economics, Modi has to ensure that Arun Jaitley’s three remaining budgets are simply superb after two flops shows in 2014 and February this year. We can’t afford any more UPA-type incrementalism, and time is running out. If the 2016 budget is not a “wow” event, it will delay the revival of animal spirits in the economy.

Most important, and this is where politics and economics connect, Modi needs to clean up his cabinet and include more competent professionals if there are not enough party hands with domain expertise available.

The performers, including those likely to perform are Sushma Swaraj (external affairs), Nitin Gadkari (roads), Piyush Goyal (coal and energy), Dharmendra Pradhan (petroleum), Manohar Parrikar (defence), and Suresh Prabhu (railways).

The ministers with acceptable performances are Rajnath Singh (home), Venkiah Naidu (urban development), Rao Birendra Singh (rural development), and Radha Mohan Singh (agriculture), among others.This does not mean there are no other performers among cabinet and state ministers, but these are the ones with important ministries. The rest are average, indifferent or bad performers.

The problem for Modi is political, where he has to accommodate so many BJP flunkies who have no qualification other than a loyalty to the parivar and its pet peeves. These people cannot help Modi raise the profile of his team or deliver the goods. He needs to go beyond his party for talent, and the post-Bihar period is the best time for this change. With a comfortable majority in parliament, there is no threat to his ministry from within or without and disgruntlement will not spin out of control.



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