The big expansion of his Council of Ministers by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today has taken the number of ministers to 66 but it is still leaner than those headed by Manmohan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee before him.
The strength of Singh’s UPA ministry stood at 78 after its final reshuffle in October 2012 while the previous NDA government led by Vajpayee started with a lean 56-member ministry but was expanded up to nearly 88 ministers.
The Modi ministry has now 27 members, including the Prime Minister, of Cabinet rank, 13 Ministers of State with Independent Charge and and 26 Ministers of State.
Singh’s ministry had 33 ministers of Cabinet rank, 12 MoS with Independent Charge and 33 others as MoS.
The UPA-II government had started with 78 ministers but its strength went down following the withdrawal of support from TMC and death and resignation of some ministers. However, after the final reshuffle in October 2012, the cabinet was expanded to its original strength.
The Vajpayee government started with 26 ministers of Cabinet rank, eight MoS with Independent Charge and 22 MoS but its ranks swelled along the way to reach 88.