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Modi 2.0 Cabinet: Reading between the lines

By IndianMandarins- 31 May 2019
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modi-2.0-cabinet:-reading-between-the-lines

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a history of sorts with his swearing in on Thursday, May 30, evening in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. He has been sworn in by President Ram Nath Kovind for another five year term and this is the second time that Modi took oath of office and secrecy as Prime Minister. Thus, he has become third Prime Minister in independent India after Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi to return to the top office for a second consecutive term with full majority in Parliament.

 

He has emerged as a virtual Man of the Series in over a month long countrywide electoral contest. Amit Shah has turned out to be like a Man of the Match with his induction in the Cabinet today. Shah is the biggest gainer. Yet, he genuinely deserved it because of the leading role played by him in taking the BJP to the highest ever tally, or 303 seats, in the Lok Sabha.


As per the Constitution, the total number of Union ministers, including PM, shall not exceed 15 per cent of the number of members in the LS. PM Modi can have as many as 80 ministers in the 543-member Lok Sabha. With current appointments, the total number of Union ministers in 17th Lok Sabha is 57.


With average age below 60; 24 new faces are in team, 37 ministers are out. Further, 'Team Modi' has 19 first-time ministers including Shah and Jaishankar. Former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Amit Shah have become another star entrant to the Team Modi with today’s swearing in.

 

Unlike these two surprise entries to the new Cabinet the list of those left out despite being Ministers in Modi’s last team is rather long. The Ministers in the previous team who receded to the world of have-beens, or former ones, from today are Sushma Swaraj, Maneka Gandhi, JP Nadda, Rajyawardhan Rathore, Radha Mohan Singh, Suresh Prabhu, Satpal Singh, Jayant Sinha, Rajiv Pratap Rudi, Mahesh Sharma,Uma Bharti, Jual Oram and Ram Kripal Yadav.

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Among the outgoing lot eight time MP Maneka Gandhi is likely to be made the pro tem Speaker to conduct the initial business of the Lower House.

 

Former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley could not make to the Cabinet this time and excused himself from continuing because of his serious illness.

 

And those who missed the bus today despite speculations in the media about their likely induction in the new team of Ministers are Aprajita Sarangi (Retd IAS) from Odisha and famed lawyer and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi. Unlike these two who could not make to the new Ministry two others whom media thought could be dropped from Team Modi made it to the Council of Ministers again. They are Dharmendra Pradhan and Hardip Singh Puri.

 

As for the allies or parties in the NDA apart from the BJP the Lok Janashakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister. Unilke LJP no one was included from Janata Dal (United) and Apna Dal. In the case of the last of them Anupriya Patel was a Minister of State in the last team.

 

Among the main highlights of this evening’s event at Rashtrapati Bhavan are:

Rajnath Singh retains seniority in terms of sequence but Nitin Gadkari appears to have lost his position (no. 4 in the order of today’s swearing in) as Amit Shah came in on the third position after Modi and Rajnath.

 

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan did not attend the swearing-in ceremony and were conspicuous by their absence.

 

Here is the complete list of new ministers:

Cabinet Ministers- 24

  1. Rajnath Singh
  2. Amit Shah
  3. Nitin Gadkari
  4. DV Sadananda Gowda
  5. Nirmala Sitharaman
  6. Ram Vilas Paswan
  7. Narendra Singh Tomar
  8. Ravi Shankar Prasad
  9. Harsimrat Kaur Badal
  10. Thawarchand Gehlot
  11. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
  12. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank
  13. Arjun Munda
  14. Smriti Irani
  15. Dr Harsh Vardhan
  16. Prakash Javdekar
  17. Piyush Goyal
  18. Dharmendra Pradhan
  19. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
  20. Prahlad Joshi
  21. Mahendra Nath Pandey
  22. Arvind Sawant
  23. Giriraj Singh
  24. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Ministers of State (Independent Charge)- 09

  1. Santosh Kumar Gangwar
  2. Rao Inderjit Singh
  3. Shripad Yesso Naik
  4. Dr. Jitendra Singh
  5. Kiren Rijiju
  6. Prahalad Singh Patel
  7. Raj Kumar Singh
  8. Hardeep Singh Puri
  9. Mansukh L. Mandaviya

Ministers of State- 24

  1. Faggansingh Kulaste
  2. Ashwini Kumar Choubey
  3. Arjun Ram Meghwal
  4. General (Retd.) V.K. Singh
  5. Krisha Pal
  6. Danv Raosahe Dadarao
  7. G. Kishan Reddy
  8. Parshottam Rupala
  9. Ramdas Athawale
  10. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti
  11. Babul Supriyo
  12. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan
  13. Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao
  14. Anurag Singh Thakur
  15. Angadi Suresh Channabasappa
  16. Nityanand Rai
  17. RattanLalKataria
  18. V. Muraleedharan
  19. Renuka Singh Saruta
  20. Som Parkash
  21. Rameswar Teli
  22. Pratap Chandra Sarangi
  23. Kailash Choudhary
  24. Debasree Chaudhuri

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