Modi’s Cabinet reshuffle: 19 new faces, Javadekar elevated

In addition to the 19 new faces, Prakash Javadekar has been promoted to the Cabinet rank

The Dollar Business Bureau

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday included 19 new ministers in his Council of Ministers at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The oath has been administered by President Pranab Mukherjee to the 19 new ministers of state and to Prakash Javadekar for a cabinet rank.

Since the current government came to power in May 2014, this is the second expansion of the council of ministers. 

The list of 19 ministers who were inducted include: Arjun Ram Meghwal, Anil Madhav Dave, Ajay Tamta, Anupriya Patel, CR Chaudhary, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Jasvantsinh Bhabhor, Krishna Raj, MJ Akbar, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Mansukhbhai Mandavia, PP Chaudhary, Parshottam Rupala, Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, Ramdas Athawale, Rajen Gohain, SS Ahluwalia, Subash Ram Bhamre, and Vijay Goel.

The new ministers inducted will be ministers of state and not of cabinet rank. But some of them may be provided with independent charge of the ministries. The ministries that will be allocated and other changes in portfolio are likely to be announced later in the day. 

In addition to the 19 new faces, Prakash Javadekar, the incumbent Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forests and Climate Change has been promoted to the Cabinet rank. He is the only union minister to be promoted. 

There are five ministers who have resigned to make way for the new ministers. These are M K Kundariya, Manuskhbhai D Vasva Nihal Chand, Ram Shankar Katheria, and Sanwar Lal Jat. The council of ministers can have a maximum of 82 ministers. Currently, there are 80 ministers.

According to sources, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may give up the important ministry of Information and Broadcasting, as Prime Minister wants to reduce his workload. He heads three major ministries including Corporate Affairs. Modi also want to appoint a new minister for sports.

The list of new ministers also shows a careful blend of social, caste and regional considerations. Two ministers, Jasvantsinh Bhabhor and Faggan Singh Kulaste, are from Scheduled Tribes (ST) and five belong to Scheduled Castes (SC) - Ajay Tamta, Ramdas Athalwale, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Ramesh Jigajinagi and Krishna Raj. Two leaders are from minority community, MJ Akbar and SS Ahluwalia, and two women - Anupriya Singh Patel and Krishna Raj, are inducted into the cabinet.

The 19 new ministers are from 10 states, including Uttar Pradesh (UP), Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Assam and Karnataka.

PM Modi used the formula of E3 - experience, expertise and energy to chart out the expansion process, sources indicated.

Modi on Monday had said that the expansion of cabinet is a natural event and it would strengthen the focus of his government as charted in the Budget this year. 

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jul 05, 2016 12:00 IST