Modi 2.0 Adds More Members

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Twelve ministers have resigned from the Modi government including Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

As many as 43 leaders took oath in the first Union Cabinet reshuffle and expansion on Wednesday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to power for a second term in May, 2019.

36 new ministers joined the government and four high-profile ministers quit today in the Narendra Modi’s mega cabinet reshuffle. The cabinet now has 77 ministers, nearly half of them new and seven ministers were promoted.

Twelve ministers have resigned from the Modi government including Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Bihar have got strong representation in the Union Council of Ministers. The list includes former Chief Ministers Narayan Rane, (Maharashtra) and Sarbananda Sonowal (Assam).

Seven-time MP from Madhya Pradesh, Virendra Kumar, and former Congress leader who joined the BJP, also from MP, Jyotiraditya M Scindia took the oath on Wednesday.

JD-U national President Ramchandra Prasad Singh, will represent Bihar along with Ajay Kumar, the MP from Bhagalpur, while Ashwini Vaishnaw, a Rajya Sabha member from Odisha, also got the call.

Leader of the LJP breakaway faction and later Ram Vilas Paswan’s brother, Pashupati Kumar Paras also represents Bihar, and BJP General Secretary Bhupender Yadav represents Rajasthan.

Uttar Pradesh which goes to the polls next year has new faces in the form of Pankaj Chaudhary, the MP from Maharajganj, alliance partner Apna Dal’s leader Anupriya Patel, Agra MP Satya Pal Singh Baghel, Jalaun MP Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, Mohanlalganj MP Kaushal Kishore, and state BJP Vice President, B.L. Verma.

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From Karnataka, Rajya Sabha MP, Rajeev Chandrasekhar and BJP Vice President Shobha Karandlaje are the entrants along with Chitradurga MP A. Narayanswamy, and Bidar MP Bhagwanth Khuba.

From Gujarat, Surat MP Darshana Vikram Jardosh, Kheda MP Devusingh Chauhan, and Surendranagar MP Mahendrabhai Munjapara got inducted.

Among the women MPs, are New Delhi MP, Meenakashi Lekhi and Koderma MP Annapurna Devi. Bankura MP and doctor Subhas Sarkar, and Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, a Rajya Sabha member from Maharashtra and doctor, also took the oath.

Other inductees are Rajkumar Ranjan Singh from Manipur, Dindori (Maharashtra) MP Bharati Pravin Pawar, Mayurbhnaj MP Bishweswar Tudu, West Bengal MP, John Barla, Tamil Nadu BJP President L. Murugan and Cooch Behar MP Nisith Pramanik. Uttarakhand will be represented by Ajay Bhatt.

first Union Cabinet reshuffle(Pic credit ANI)

Experience and qualification

As the Modi government gets a makeover, the new Council of Ministers is being shaped in terms of experience and qualification.

In the new Council of Ministers, there are four former Chief Ministers, 18 former state ministers, 39 former MLAs and 23 MPs who have been elected for three or more terms.

This demonstrates the wealth of experience in the new Cabinet as the government has been criticised for lack of bench strength and not having enough heft in administrative experience.

The new Council of Ministers is also an eclectic mix of distinguished qualifications, including 13 lawyers, six doctors, five engineers, seven former civil servants, and 46 ministers with experience in Central government.

This is also a young looking Cabinet with an average age of 58, with 14 ministers below the age of 50 years.

first Union Cabinet reshuffle(Pic credit ANI)

Exit of seniors

The exits of the senior ministers stood out on a day of resignations made bigger news than the induction of new ministers.

Though shocking was Prasad’s exit, the IT Ministry has been in the forefront of controversies with the implementation of social media guidelines.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has quit probably on account of the gaps in the management of the Covid second wave which took on monstrous proportions. Vardhan had been widely criticised for the ensuing situation as the Health Ministry is seen as the nodal ministry for the management of the Covid situation and vaccine administration.

Javadekar was among the chief spokespersons of the government, a role he had performed for years.

Among the senior ministers, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Chemical and Fertiliser Minister Sadananda Gowda and Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Gangwar have also resigned.

Meanwhile, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, has been appointed as the Governor of Karnataka.

Elevation to cabinet posts

While 12 ministers were axed, seven junior ministers have been promoted as Cabinet ministers.

Minister of State in the Finance Ministry, Anurag Thakur, took oath as a Cabinet minister on Wednesday. MoS for Home, G. Kishan Reddy, and MoS for Agriculture, Parshottam Rupala, also got a promotion.

Hardeep Singh Puri, who was the Minister of State (independent charge) for Civil Aviation and Housing and Urban Affairs, has also been elevated. So has Kiren Rijiju who held independent charge for Youth Affairs and Sports.

Power Minister R.K. Singh, who held independent charge, and Mansukh Mandaviya, Shipping and Ports Minister with independent charge, have also been promoted. Gujarat will now get two additional Cabinet ministers in the form of Rupala and Mandaviya.

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