New Delhi, Jul 5: Congress today dubbed as a "vote- garnering exercise" the Cabinet expansion looking at election- going states and a "panic reaction against declining political graph" of BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The much-publicised Cabinet expansion has proved to be "much ado about nothing", party's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, adding the exercise reflects "devaluation of government and deficit of talent and experience in BJP".
"Team Modi has become a collection of courtiers, sycophants, non-performers and hate mongers," he told reporters. He insisted that with a "top heavy" Cabinet comprising 79 ministers including himself, Modi's "tall claim" of 'minimum government, maximum governance' has been reduced to another gimmick.
Seeking to create trouble for the government, he wondered what will now happen to Subramanian Swamy, "the Finance Minister in waiting".
The controversial BJP MP, a known detractor of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, does not figure in the exercise. "Sole aim of expansion is a 'vote garnering exercise' looking at election going States and a panic reaction against declining political graph of BJP in UP, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat."
"It has nothing to do with improving lives of 125 crore Indians or providing a government dedicated to the cause of solving their problems", he said. Coming down hard on the Prime Minister, he said an important facet of Cabinet expansion is that the "incompetent and non-performing" ministers have not been punished or dropped nor has any reward been given to the talent.
"This reflects a bankruptcy of vision and futuristic thinking," he said. He claimed that another clear message is the protection given to hate mongers and those propagating the agenda of division and deception.
"Had this not been true, PM would have taken action against ministers like Smriti Irani, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Gen V K Singh, Giriraj Singh, Sanjiv Baliyan, Mahesh Sharma and half a dozen others. Obviously, all these ministers are acting with complete knowledge and complicity of the Prime Minister," he claimed.
Faulting the Prime Minister for "completely ignoring" the NDA allies, he said the entire exercise has been rendered to cosmetic changes aimed at propagating Modi as a larger than life figure. "It is about 'I, Me, Myself'. Even otherwise, in the autocratic Modi regime, ministers and Cabinet are the 'fall guys' with every publicity driven achievements going to the account of Modi," he added.