At a time when the e-auction for the second batch of phase III of private FM radio in the country is poised to take off, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has changed hands once again.
In a major cabinet reshuffle, M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday was named as the information and broadcasting minister in addition to the portfolio he already holds, the urban development ministry.
With Naidu’s induction, this is the third time in two years of Modi-led government that the I&B ministry has witnessed a change of command. Two years ago when the Modi government came to power, MIB was allocated to Prakash Javadekar but was soon moved to Arun Jaitley with Olympian shooter-turned-politician Rajyavardhan Rathore as Minister of State in the first reshuffle. Rathore will continue at the helm of MIB as MoS under Naidu.
Addressing the media soon after he took charge, Naidu said, “I would like to focus on the cost of information empowerment. I would also like to ensure an enabling environment involving both official and non-official sources - public and private media for this information empowerment. I would be working on the principle of communication for the development of the community. Perform, Reform, Transform and Inform is the new mantra.”
The ministry’s Twitter handle announced about its new minister taking charge.
A leading face of the BJP and the government, Naidu has always been one of the most astute leaders and an inspiring orator who led the party from the front as its president. Naidu is expected to hold regular interactions with the media and also take the message of the Modi government’s pro-poor policies to the masses.
Earlier, Naidu served as parliamentary affairs minister when he had the task of managing numbers in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP is not in a majority. The veteran leader has been able to seek the support of all Opposition parties on major issues and bills tabled by the Modi government.
His appointment is also significant as the BJP hopes to do well in the forthcoming Assembly polls in India, most importantly in Uttar Pradesh where polls are due early next year. After Naidu takes charge, the media strategy of the Narendra Modi government is expected to undergo a major overhaul.