Modi inducts 21 new ministers, reshuffles portfolios
First-time MP (Jaipur-rural) and Olympics silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore joins Modi Cabinet
New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday expanded his council of ministers, inducting 21 new faces, including four of cabinet rank, in a bid to consolidate the gains of the Lok Sabha elections by giving representation to various regions and communities, while also reshuffling some key portfolios.
Manohar Parrikar is the new defence minister, Suresh Prabhu has been given charge of railways, Jagat Prakash Nadda is the new health and family welfare minister, while Birender Singh succeeds the late Gopinath Munde as the rural development and panchayati raj minister.
The 45-member Modi ministry Sunday added to it four cabinet ministers, three ministers of state with independent charge, and 14 ministers of state (MoS).
Portfolios of the new ministers were announced late Sunday night ahead of the first meeting of the expanded ministry slated for Monday. There was also a reshuffle of portfolios.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who relinquishes his additional charge of defence to Parrikar, has been now given information and broadcasting, currently held by Parakash Javadekar as a minister of state (independent charge).
D.V. Sadananda Gowda was moved from railways to law and justice, held by Ravi Shankar Prasad, who now just has the portfolio of communications and information technology. Harsh Vardhan has been shifted from health to science and technology, currently held by minister of state (independent charge) Jitendra Singh.
Even with Sunday’s expansion, Modi’s ministry is leaner than those headed by Manmohan Singh. Officials said that Singh’s ministry stood at 78 after its final reshuffle while the previous NDA had expanded even beyond that.
The ministry expansion also signalled BJP’s efforts to consolidate its gains in the states it had done well in the Lok Sabha elections and give representation to various dominant castes and communities to expand its social base in view of the assembly elections over the next few years.
The 21 new ministers who joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s team Sunday represent different regions, states, communities — and professions, including two IITians, a Bollywood singer and a pilot.
The variety of professionals among newly inducted ministers includes a well-known singer, an Olympic medallist and former army officer, two IIT-ians (one also from Harvard), a chartered accountant, a pilot, a doctor, businessmen and industrialists.
Maharashtra – SHIV SENA UPSET
The much-anticipated first ministry expansion was marred with ally Shiv Sena calling off participation in the government at the last minute, exacerbating their already strained ties. Prabhu, who was a minister in the first national Democratic Alliance government, was sworn in after he quit the Shiv Sena and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Apart from Prabhu, the BJP inducted party MP Hansraj Ahir from Maharashtra where the party got success in the recent assembly polls.
In Mumbai, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray described Prabhu’s joining the BJP as “unfortunate” but indicated that Anant Geete, party’s representative in the Modi government, will continue for the time being. Thackeray put a condition that his party will sit in opposition in Maharashtra if BJP takes support of the Nationalist Congress Party to prove its majority in the state assembly Nov 12. The Sena at the last minute recalled Anil Desai, who it had nominated for induction in the union ministry. According to reports, Desai arrived in Delhi for the oath-taking ceremony but was ordered to return.
Bihar – Keeping in mind next year’s elections in Bihar which are crucial for the BJP, Bihar got three ministers in Sunday’s induction. Besides Rudy, others included are Ram Kripal Yadav, who left the RJD to join the BJP before the Lok Sabha polls, and firebrand BJP MP Giriraj Singh (both MoS), who has courted controversies for his statements. They all are from Bihar. Union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Ravi Shankar Prasad are also from Bihar.
Giriraj Singh, 61, who courted controversy with his comment that “those who oppose Narendra Modi should go to Pakistan” and was also booked for the hate speech, got a place as as minister of state.
Jayant Sinha, the IIT-Delhi and Harvard-educated MP from Hazaribagh in election-bound Jharkhand, is among the professionals inducted in the ministry as a balancing act to induction of state leaders with caste or community base.
Uttar Pradesh, another state crucial for the BJP, got four new berths – Mahesh Sharma, a doctor who is the MP from Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida); Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who is a Rajya Sabha member; Ram Shankar Katheria, the Agra MP; and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.
Modi also brought into his ministry the party’s known Muslim face in Naqvi, adding to Najma Heptullah, who is minority affairs minister. He also added to the representation of women by inducting Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, BJP MP from Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh, to take their number to eight.
Punjab- Vijay Sampla – a first-time BJP MP gets Cabinet Berth
Vijay Sampla, who took oath as a minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet Sunday, is a first-time BJP MP from the Hoshiarpur (reserved) seat. Sampla is not a major name in Punjab’s politics. But Sampla, 53,has been chosen because the BJP is looking at its own prospects for the 2017 assembly polls in Punjab. Sampla, a businessman, was picked up by the BJP for the Hoshiarpur seat in the recent Lok Sabha polls though he had not contested any election earlier.
Jat community leader Birender Singh, who has been termed as a political “tragedy king” for failing to make it to be Haryana’s chief minister or a union minister, has finally made it to the union cabinet. He quit the Congress, with which he was actively involved for 42 years, to join the BJP August this year. He is the third union minister from Haryana in the Modi government.
Rajasthan, which had only one minister in the union government, got two ministers this time.Sanwar Lal Jat (MP from Ajmer), who defeated Congress leader and former union minister Sachin Pilot in the Lok Sabha polls, was inducted as an MoS.
First-time MP (Jaipur-rural) and Olympics silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also comes from Rajasthan. A former army officer and international shooter, Rathore is among the fresh faces given ministerial responsibility.
The youngest MP inducted in the ministry Sunday is well-known singer Babul Supriyo Baral, the only face in the ministry from West Bengal where the BJP wants to consolidate after recent gains. The Asansol MP was inducted as a minister of state.
The only NDA ally to get a berth in Sunday’s expansion was Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Rajya Sabha MP, Y.S. Chowdary as an MoS.
Gujarat got new faces – Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, and Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundarya, while Olympian Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Sanwar Lal Jat were inducted from Rajasthan. Vijay Sampla, BJP Hoshiarpur MP, was inducted as MoS.
Jagat Prakash Nadda, the trusted lieutenant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in the party, has been made a cabinet minister. He is among the senior most general secretaries in the BJP. He comes from Himachal Pradesh, which did not have any representation in the Modi government.
Manohar Parrikar, who quit as Goa chief minister Saturday, was the first to be inducted as a cabinet minister. With an IIT background, Parrikar is well known for his hands-down approach to governance and simplistic demeanour.
List of ministers and portfolios of Narendra Modi government
New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi expanded his ministry Sunday while reshuffling portfolios of some ministers. Here is the latest list of the council of ministers and their portfolios.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy Department of Space; All important policy issues and all other portfolios not allocated to any Minister
Rajnath Singh: Home Affairs
Sushma Swaraj: External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs
Arun Jaitley: Finance, Corporate Affairs, Information & Broadcasting
M. Venkaiah Naidu: Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Parliamentary Affairs
Nitin Jairam Gadkari: Road Transport and Highways, Shipping
Manohar Parrikar: Defence
Suresh Prabhu: Railways
D.V. Sadananda Gowda: Law & Justice
Uma Bharati: Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
Najma A. Heptulla: Minority Affairs
Ramvilas Paswan: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
Kalraj Mishra: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Maneka Sanjay Gandhi: Women and Child Development
Ananthkumar: Chemicals and Fertilizers
Ravi Shankar Prasad: Communications and Information Technology
Jagat Prakash Nadda: Health & Family Welfare
Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati: Civil Aviation
Anant Geete: Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
Harsimrat Kaur Badal: Food Processing Industries
Narendra Singh Tomar: Mines, Steel
Chaudhary Birender Singh: Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation
Jual Oram: Tribal Affairs
Radha Mohan Singh: Agriculture
Thaawar Chand Gehlot: Social Justice and Empowerment
Smriti Zubin Irani: Human Resource Development
Harsh Vardhan: Science and Technology, Earth Sciences
Ministers of State:
General V.K. Singh: Statistics and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge), External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs
Inderjit Singh Rao: Planning (Independent Charge), Defence
Santosh Kumar Gangwar: Textiles (Independent Charge)
Bandaru Dattatreya: Labour and Employment (Independent Charge)
Rajiv Pratap Rudy: Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge), Parliamentary Affairs
Shripad Yesso Naik: AAYUSH (Independent Charge), Health & Family Welfare
Dharmendra Pradhan: Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge)
Sarbananda Sonowal: Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge)
Prakash Javadekar: Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge)
Piyush Goyal: Power (Independent Charge), Coal (Independent Charge), New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge)
Jitendra Singh: Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space
Nirmala Sitharaman: Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge)
Mahesh Sharma: Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), Civil Aviation
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: Minority Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs
Ram Kripal Yadav: Drinking Water & Sanitation
Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary: Home Affairs
Sanwar Lal Jat: Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya: Agriculture
Giriraj Singh: Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
Hansraj Gangaram Ahir: Chemicals & Fertilizers
G.M. Siddeshwara: Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises
Manoj Sinha: Railways
Nihalchand: Panchayati Raj
Upendra Kushwaha: Human Resource Development
Radhakrishnan P.: Road Transport & Highways, Shipping
Kiren Rijiju: Home Affairs
Krishan Pal: Social Justice & Empowerment
Sanjeev Kumar Balyan: Agriculture
Manuskhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava: Tribal Affairs
Raosaheb Dadarao Danve: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
Vishnu Deo Sai: Mines, Steel
Sudarshan Bhagat: Rural Development
Ram Shankar Katheria: Human Resource Development
Y.S. Chowdary: Science and Technology, Earth Science
Jayant Sinha: Finance
Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore: Information & Broadcasting
Babul Supria (Babul Supriyo) Baral: Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti: Food Processing Industries
Vijay Sampla: Social Justice & Empowerment