Prominent faces who didn't figure in the new list of Council of Ministers include Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Maneka Gandhi, Uma Bharti, Suresh Prabhu and JP Nadda, all were Cabinet-rank ministers.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister of India for the second consecutive term on Thursday evening. President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office and secrecy to him and Council of Ministers. Modi’s new team has 24 Cabinet ministers, nine Ministers of State (MoS) with independent charges and 24 Ministers of State. While BJP president Amit Shah and former Foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar are the new prominent entrants into the Cabinet, The Indian Express reported that 37 ministers from the previous Council of Ministers were dropped.
Prominent faces who didn’t figure in the new list of Council of Ministers include Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Maneka Gandhi, Uma Bharti, Suresh Prabhu and JP Nadda, all were Cabinet-rank ministers. Other leaders who are missing this time are Shiv Pratap Shukla, Jual Oram, Rajvardhan Singh Rathore, Anupriya Patel, SS Ahluwalia, Radhamohan Singh, Chaudhary Birender Singh, Vijay Sampla, Anant Geete, Subhash Bhamre, Jayant Sinha, Mahesh Sharma, Manoj Sinha and Alphons Kannanthanam.
While Jaitley himself opted out due to his poor health, 67-year-old Swaraj, who ddn’t contest the elections this time, was conspicuous by her absence in the new Cabinet. Although the reason for her exclusion from the Council of Ministers was not immediately known to the media, it is believed that the main reason possibly could be her ill-health.
JP Nadda who was the Health and Family Welfare minister in the previous government was also omitted from the new Cabinet. There is speculation that he may be given responsibility to head the party, succeeding Amit Shah who took oath yesterday as a Cabinet minister. According to the BJP’s constitution, the party follows a one-man-one-post convention, meaning Shah will have to relinquish the president post since he has been included in the new Council of Ministers.
Although there was no official word from the BJP on Shah’s replacement, Nadda has emerged as the one who could possibly take over the reign of the party from Shah. Nadda is a Brahmin and comes from Himachal Pradesh. The 58-year-politician is trusted by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. He enjoys the confidence of BJP’s top brass and has a clean image. He is also a member of the BJP’s parliamentary board, the top decision-making body in the party.
The BJP will also have to look for new presidents for its Uttar Pradesh and Bihar units as current chiefs Mahendra Nath Pandey and Nityanand Rai, respectively, have been inducted in the new Cabinet.
In all, 57 ministers took oath yesterday, compared to 70 members in the previous Council of Ministers. Out of 57, there are a total of 24 new faces — seven Cabinet rank, one Minister of State (independent charge) and 16 Ministers of State.