New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is back in the saddle. After he was sworn in for a second term on Thursday, his council of ministers also took the oath of office at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The oath-taking ceremony was graced by about 8,000 guests, including leaders of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) member states, sports legends, Bollywood celebrities and even business honchos. Besides, families of Pulwama attack martyrs and BJP workers who were killed in West Bengal in poll-related violence also marked their attendance at the mega event.
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Experts said the choice of ministers showed more of continuity than a penchant for change. The hard taskmaster that PM Modi is known to be, the new Cabinet is said to smack of professionalism.
The new names to find a place in the Cabinet are those of BJP chief Amit Shah who steered the party to the landslide victory it registered this time and that of former bureaucrat S Jaishankar, an expert on foreign affairs.
Ally JD(U) played the spoilsport by refusing the sole ministerial berth it was getting. JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar said his party was not happy with the ‘symbolic representation’.
Modi’s new 58-member Cabinet will have 24 Ministers and the rest Ministers of State. Among his Cabinet Ministers are, apart from the PM, Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, D V Sadananda Gowda, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ramvilas Paswan, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Arjun Munda, Smriti Zubin Irani, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Pralhad Joshi, Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Giriraj Singh and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Ministers of State (Independent Charge) are Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Rao Inderjit Singh, Shripad Yesso Naik, Dr Jitendra Singh, Kiren Rijiju, Prahalad Singh Patel, Raj Kumar Singh, Hardeep Singh Puri and Mansukh L. Mandaviya.
Another 24 MPs have been inducted as Ministers of State and they are: Faggan Singh Kulaste, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Arjun Ram Meghwal, General (Retd.) V K Singh, Krishan Pal, Danve Raosaheb Dadarao, G. Kishan Reddy, Parshottam Rupala, Ramdas Athawale, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Babul Supriyo, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao, Anurag Singh Thakur, Angadi Suresh Channabasappa, Nityanand Rai, Rattan Lal Kataria, V Muraleedharan, Renuka Singh Saruta, Som Parkash, Rameswar Teli, Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Kailash Choudhary and Debasree Chaudhuri.