NewZNew (New Delhi) : A day after 21 new ministers read their oaths of office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi read out the rule book to them, listing the conduct he expects with a specific focus on the winter session of Parliament beginning later this month. PM Modi is learnt to have told his ministers to avoid going on leave and be prepared to work even on public holidays. The PM, known to be a workaholic, has in his six months in office calendared some of his government’s most important activities and events on public holidays or Sundays.
When Parliament is in session, he reportedly wants his ministers to cut down on unnecessary tours and ensure maximum presence in the Houses. He advised them to come prepared with proper answers for questions posed to them during Question Hour. He spoke for 20 minutes; all but three of the 66 ministers in his expanded team attended Monday’s meeting. External Affairs Minister
Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had prior engagements, while Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete skipped the meeting as his party Shiv Sena remains undecided on its relationship with the BJP. During the meeting, the PM is said to have asked his ministers to be ready with bills pending in both Houses of Parliament along with new legislative proposals. He discussed strategy to ensure that the month-long session remains a “smooth affair” for the government, which plans to pass most of its pending bills as well as introduce some key new bills.
Sources said the PM has also asked all cabinet ministers to take their junior ministers into confidence. A senior minister said after the meeting, “The PM told us that ministers of state must be given proper work and responsibility and files should be routed through them so that they are familiar with government policy.” He said the PM has suggested that all cabinet ministers meet their MoSs every Wednesday. During the previous Congress-led UPA regime, several ministers of state complained that their cabinet ministers gave them no work or access to files.