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Modi takes oath for second term, inducts Amit Shah, former FS Jaishankar


ANI Politics
Narendra Modi, who got a massive mandate in the elections, on Thursday took oath as Prime Minister again for a second consecutive term inducting confidant and BJP President Amit Shah into his Cabinet along with the surprise inclusion of former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, while retaining most of his earlier Cabinet ministers and dropping seniors like Suresh Prabhu, Maneka Gandhi and Radha Mohan Singh.
Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Sadanand Gowda and Smriti Irani were among the Cabinet ministers who took oath along with representatives of BJP allies--Ram Vilas Paswan (LJSP), Harsimrat Kaur (Akali Dal), Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) and Ramdas Athawale (RPI-A) who will be a Minister of State.
The JD (U) and AIADMK, major allies of the BJP, did not find a place in the new Cabinet nor did any other smaller allies. The JDU chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who attended the swearing in function made it cleasr before the ceremony that his party was not joining the government because the offere of just one ministerial berth was not acceptable.
Speculation is rife that Shah may be entrusted the Finance portfolio while the External Affairs Ministry may go to Jaishankar, who had earned the trust of Modi in his earlier avatar as Foreign Secretary. Rajnath Singh and Sitharaman are expected to retain Home and Defence respectively while Irani, who defeated Rahul Gandhi in Amethi may get a heavy portfolio.
While Arun Jaitley, finance minister in the first Modi government, opted out of the ministry on health grounds, names like Sushma Swaraj and Uma Bharati do not figure in the new ministry as they did not fight the Lok Sabha elections.
The 58-member council of ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan before a gathering of over 6,000 guests that included heads of governments and states from BIMSTEC countries, Prime Minister of Mauritius, President of Kyrgyzstan, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Chief Ministers, Governors, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, captains of industry including Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani, Bollywood and other film celebrities and diplomatic representatives stationed in Delhi.
Of the new Council of Ministers, there are 24 cabinet ministers besides the Prime Minister, 9 Ministers of State with independent charge and 24 Ministers of State.
The others who took oath as Cabinet ministers were Narendra Singh Tomar, Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Arjun Munda, Harsh Vardhan, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Prahlad Joshi, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Giriraj Singh and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Of these, Pokhriyal and Munda, former chief ministers, are new faces in the Cabinet.
Those who took oath as Ministers of State with Independent Charge are Santosh Gangwar, Rao Inderjit Singh, Shripad Naik, Jitendra Singh, Kiren Rijiju, Prahalad Singh Patel, R K Singh, Hardeep Puri and Mansukh L Mandaviya.
The Ministers of State are Faggansingh Kulaste, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Arjun Meghwal, V K Singh, Krishan Pal Gujjar, Dadarao Danve, G Krishan Reddy, Purushottam Rupala, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti , Babul Supriyo, Sanjeev Balyan, Sanjay Dhotre, Anurag Thakur, Suresh Angadi, Nityanand Rai, Rattan Lal Kataria, V Muralidharan, Renuka Singh, Som Prakash, Rameshwar Teli, Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Kailash Choudhary and Debasree Chaudhuri.
Among the other new faces are Dadarao Danve, Kishan Reddy, Telangana BJP chief, Renuka Singh, Pratap Chandra Sarangi from Odisha, an RSS activist who is said to lead a simple life, and Debasree Chaudhuri from West Bengal.
While Puri lost the elections in Amritsar but retained his position in the government, Alphonse missed the bus after his defeat in Ernakulam in Kerala. However, V Muraleedharan, BJP chief in Kerala, who led the agitation on the Sabarimala issue and lost the elections in Pathanamthitta, was lucky to take oath today.
Prominent among those who won the elections but were dropped were
Jayant Sinha, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Mahesh Sharma, J. P. Nadda, who is tipped to become the BJP President.

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First Published: May 30 2019 | 10:01 PM IST

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