These ministers seem to have failed PM Narendra Modi’s litmus test.
Five ministers namely Nihalchand (Minister of State for Panchayati Raj), Ram Shankar Katheria (Minister of State for Human Resource Development), Sanwar Lal Jat (Minister of State for Water Resources), Manuskhbhai D Vasva (Minister of State for Tribal Affairs)and M K Kundariya (Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)have sent in their resignations which have been accepted by the President, as advised by the PM, with immediate effect.
Prakash Javadekar, who held the independent charge of environment, was the lone minister promoted to the cabinetrank while all new inductees took oath as ministers of state.
Today’s exercise underlines BJP’s attempts at wooing dalits and OBCs, whose votes would be crucial to its fortunes in key states like UP and Gujarat.
All barring Vijay Goel and Faggan Kulaste are new faces while a few have been ministers in BJP-ruled state governments.
Ajay Tamta, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Krishna Raj, Ramdas Athawale, Ramesh C Jigaginagi were among the dalit MPs sworn in as ministers by President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Others who were inducted in the Modi government included Anupriya Patel, S S Ahluwalia, P P Chadudhary, C R Chaudhary, M J Akbar, J Bhabhor, Purshotam Rupala Mansukhbhai Mandaviya, S R Bhamre, Mahendra Nath Padey, A M Dave, Rajen Gohain.
While Patel and Athawale are BJP allies, all others are from BJP.
Among the 19 inductees, three MPs each from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh took oath while four from Rajasthan were also sworn in
The portfolios allocated to these ministers will be known in the evening.
(With PTI inputs)