Modi’s NDA govt starts Term 3; 30 Cabinet posts in 72-member Union Council of Ministers

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webnexttech | Modi’s NDA govt starts Term 3; 30 Cabinet posts in 72-member Union Council of Ministers
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Narendra Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister at Rashtrapati Bhavan Sunday, only the second after Jawaharlal Nehru to secure a third consecutive term. The 72-member Union Council of Ministers which was administered the oath of office by President Droupadi Murmu included 30 Cabinet Ministers and 5 Ministers of State (independent charge). With the BJP no longer in majority in Lok Sabha and dependent on allies including TDP and JD(U), the NDA Council of Ministers signalled both continuity and change – veteran leaders Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar and Piyush Goyal were among 19 retained as Cabinet Ministers. Others back in Cabinet were Dharmendra Pradhan, Pralhad Joshi, Sarbananda Sonowal, Virendra Kumar, Giriraj Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Kiren Rijiju, Hardeep Singh Puri, Mansukh Mandaviya, Bhupender Yadav and G Kishan Reddy. New entrants in the Cabinet included J P Nadda, whose term as BJP president ends this month, and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, former Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Gujarat BJP president C R Paatil. Annapurna Devi, who was a Minister of State in Modi’s previous term, found a Cabinet berth. Jual Oram, who was a minister in Modi’s first term, was inducted as a Cabinet Minister. The five Ministers of State (independent charge) are BJP’s Rao Inderjit Singh, Jitendra Singh, Arjun Ram Meghwal (all three held the same position in Modi 2.0), Shiv Sena’s Buldhana MP Prataprao Jadhav and RLD’s Jayant Chaudhary. Leaders of alliance partners in the Cabinet included former Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy,; TDP’s K Ram Mohan Naidu, a three-time MP from Srikakulam; JD(U)’s Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh; LJP’s Chirag Paswan; and HAM’s Jitan Ram Manjhi. In attendance were thousands of dignitaries including leaders of seven countries from the neighbourhood, former President Ram Nath Kovind, Governors, Chief Ministers, Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, Bollywood stars, captains of Indian industry and spiritual gurus. The Opposition was represented by Congress president and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. Leaders of alliance partners including TDP’s N Chandrababu Naidu, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar, Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, NCP’s Ajit Pawar and JanaSena Party leader Pawan Kalyan were present. Among the former Cabinet ministers who won their Lok Sabha seats but did not find a place in this government were Anurag Thakur from Himachal Pradesh, Narayan Rane from Maharashtra and Purushottam Rupala from Gujarat. Others who were dropped from the Cabinet included R K Singh, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Smriti Irani and Arjun Munda – all of them lost in the elections.

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