From Sushma Swaraj, Radha Mohan Singh, Maneka Gandhi to Rajyavardhan Rathore, NDA 2 drops big guns from Modi Cabinet

Modi can have as many as 80 ministers in the 543-member Lok Sabha. As per the Constitution, the total number of Union ministers, including the Prime Minister shall not exceed 15 per cent of the number of members in the Lok Sabha.

FP Staff May 31, 2019 10:00:23 IST
From Sushma Swaraj, Radha Mohan Singh, Maneka Gandhi to Rajyavardhan Rathore, NDA 2 drops big guns from Modi Cabinet
  • The decision to keep Radha Mohan out seems to be influence by the fact that over the last five years, the farm sector has been ravaged by severe agricultural crisis

  • Maneka, several news channel said, could be the new Speaker of Lok Sabha given the fact that former speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not contest elections because she crossed the age bar of 75 years

  • Speculation is rife that Nadda, who was made BJP's Uttar Pradesh incharge, may succeed Shah as BJP's national president

Narendra Modi was on Thursday sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India for the second term helming a 58-member ministry with BJP chief Amit Shah making his debut as a Union minister and former foreign secretary S Jaishankar emerging as a surprise pick while party veteran Sushma Swaraj was among the former ministers who were kept out of the Council of Ministers.

Besides Swaraj, who did not contest the elections citing health issues, eight-time MP Maneka Gandhi and former minister of women and child development, six-time MP Radha Mohan Singh who handled the crucial agriculture portfolio have not made the cut. The decision to keep Radha Mohan out seems to be influenced by the fact that over the last five years, the farm sector has been ravaged by a severe agricultural crisis that led to farmers' suicide and protests across the country. Maneka, news channels have reported, could be the pro-tem Speaker of Lok Sabha. Meanwhile, Swaraj, who is not a minister in the BJP government for the first time, may have excused herself on health grounds.

Mahesh Sharma, Jayant Sinha, Jual Oram, Ram Kripal Yadav, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, were among others failed to make the cut despite winning their respective seats. Anantkumar Hegde, a Hindutva leader from Karnataka who is known for his controversial statements, was also dropped.

Suresh Prabhu and JP Nadda (both Rajya Sabha) also did not find a place. Speculation is rife that Nadda, who was made BJP's Uttar Pradesh incharge, may succeed Shah as BJP's national president.

Uma BhartiMinister of External Affairs

Notable names missing from Modi's Council of Ministers Portfolios they held during the last term
Anantkumar Hegde MoS for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
Arun Jaitley Minsiter of Finance
Jayant Sinha  MoS Civil Aviation
JP Nadda Minister of Health and Family Welfare
Jual Oram Minister of Tribal Affairs
Mahesh Sharma MoS (Independent Charge) for Culture and Tourism
Maneka Gandhi Minister for Women & Child Development
Radha Mohan Singh Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore MoS Youth Affairs and Sports
Ram Kripal Yadav MoS Rural Development
Suresh Prabhu Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation
Sushma Swaraj Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation

Arun Jaitley, who held the finance portfolio, had already opted out of the government for health reasons.

Key BJP ally JD(U) stayed out of the government in what appears to be a sign of differences with the saffron party over the number of ministerial berths offered to the party.

"We are not joining the government. This is our decision," Pavan Varma, who is also the general secretary of the Janata Dal (United), told PTI. The JD(U), will, however remain part of the NDA.

In a grand ceremony with overtones of a US presidential inauguration, heads of state and government, chief ministers, India Inc honchos, Opposition leaders, BJP members and showbiz stars rubbed shoulders as they watched President Kovind administer the oath of office. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were among those who were present.

The two-hour ceremony is the largest event to be held in Rashtrapati Bhavan, officials said.

Modi can have as many as 80 ministers in the 543-member Lok Sabha. As per the Constitution, the total number of Union ministers, including the Prime Minister shall not exceed 15 per cent of the number of members in the Lok Sabha.

This is the second time Modi took the oath at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Modi was sworn in by the then President Pranab Mukherjee in 2014 in the presence of over 3,500 guests including the heads of SAARC countries.

Earlier, Chandra Shekhar in 1990 and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999 were sworn in at the sprawling forecourt.

With inputs from PTI

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