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Modi’s coalition concert on

Sworn in for third term, Modi becomes second PM after Nehru to secure this historic feat | 72-member Council of Ministers takes oath; Anurag among 7 Cabinet ministers dropped | Congress president Kharge attends grand event at Rashtrapati Bhavan; most Opposition leaders skip

Modi’s coalition concert on

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets invitees during the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. REUTERS



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, June 9

Standing on the ramparts of the Rashtrapati Bhavan that sparkled with hues of the Tricolour, BJP veteran Narendra Modi on Sunday took oath as the Prime Minister for the third consecutive time, entering the league of predecessor Jawaharlal Nehru.

President Droupadi Murmu administers the oath of office to Narendra Modi as Prime Minister at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. PTI

11 berths to allies; women ministers down from 10 to 7

The ruling NDA partners have got 11 of the 72 Union Council of Minister berths in the new BJP-led dispensation. Of the 11, five are Cabinet posts, which have gone to different allies — former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manji of HAM; former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy of the JD (S); Rajeev Ranjan Singh Lalan of the JD (U), Ram Mohan Naidu of the TDP and Chirag Paswan of the LJP (Ram Vilas). The number of women ministers has come down from 10 to seven.

In the outgoing Council of Ministers, there was no Cabinet rank minister from the NDA. It is learnt the TDP could get two more berths in the future Cabinet expansion.

After he arrived to frenzied cheers of “Modi Modi” from sections of an over 8,000-strong gathering, Modi was administered the oath of office and secrery by President Droupadi Murmu.

Later, 71 members of the Council of Ministers — 31 Cabinet rank, five ministers of state (independent charge) and 36 ministers of state took oath at a grand event on the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt, attended by heads of seven neighbouring nations barring Pakistan, top business honchos, including Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, celebrated actors from Rajnikant and Shah Rukh Khan to Anil Kapoor, transgenders, rat-hole miners and sanitation workers.

Eye on growth momentum and reform, which he has stressed as the goals of his third term, Modi (73) stamped the Union Cabinet with continuity.

Nineteen of the 26 outgoing Cabinet ministers (a whopping 73 per cent) have been retained, including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Piyush Goyal, Hardeep Puri, Dharmendra Pradhan, Mansukh Mandaviya and Virendra Kumar. Rajnath, Shah, Gadkari, Nirmala, Jaishankar and Vaishnaw are expected to retain Defence, Home, Transport, Finance, External Affairs and Railways, respectively.

As reported by The Tribune, Modi will retain key strategic ministries to continue the growth push, vital to his pledge of making India the world’s third largest economy. Eleven new entrants to the Cabinet are BJP chief JP Nadda, whose term as party president ends on June 16; former chief ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh, Jitan Ram Manjhi of Bihar, ML Khattar of Haryana and HD Kumaraswamy of Karnataka; Annapurna Singh of Jharkhand; senior tribal leader from Odisha Jual Oram, veteran Gujarat BJP leader CR Patil and three representatives of NDA parties — Munger MP Rajeev Ranjan Singh, alias Lalan Singh, of the JD(U), three-term Srikakulam MP of the TDP Ram Mohan Naidu and LJP’s Chirag Paswan.

The most prominent Cabinet ministers among seven to be dropped are Anurag Thakur, who just offset his four-term anti-incumbency in Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur to win a fifth Lok Sabha term, and Smriti Irani, who lost Amethi to Congress worker KL Sharma. Arjun Munda, Narayan Rane, RK Singh, Mahendra Nath Pandey and Parashottam Rupala are other ministers who failed to make the cut this time. Anurag is likely to get a plum organisational role with sources saying he could be groomed to lead in Himachal Pradesh. All three ministers of state in the outgoing Modi Cabinet — Rao Inderjit (Gurgaon MP), Arjun Ram Meghwal (Bikaner MP) and Jitendra Singh (Udhampur MP) — have been retained. Two inductions in this segment are of NDA leaders — Shiv Sena’s Prataprao Jadhav from Maharashtra and RLD’s Jayant Chaudhry. Among 36 ministers of state who took oath today, only 10 are the ones who were also part of Modi’s outgoing Council of Ministers.

All other faces in this section are new, including former three-term Ludhiana MP Ravneet Bittu, who lost to Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Warring this time; first-ever BJP MP from Kerala and actor Suresh Gopi, former UPA minister and current Pilibhit MP Jitin Prasad and Karnataka BJP leader V Somanna, who reluctantly contested the state poll against CM Siddaramaiah and lost, among others.

As against 71 ministers in the outgoing council, the newly sworn one has 72 members, with further expansions expected later to accommodate allies of the NDA. In the outgoing council, there were 26 Cabinet ministers, three MoS (independent charge) and 42 MoS. The new council has 31 Cabinet ranks, five MoS (independent charge) and 36 MoS.

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