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PM Modi’s Cabinet rejig: 43 new Ministers to take oath soon

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
PM Modi’s Cabinet rejig: 43 new Ministers to take oath soon

New Delhi: As many as forty-three new ministers will reportedly be taking oath this evening as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tries to reboot his administration that has been under heavy criticism over the handling of the coronavirus crisis, soaring prices and resentment from several sections.

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The names in the cabinet rejig include several new entrants as well as existing ministers who will be reassigned.

In an unexpected move, Ravi Shankar Prasad, who held key portfolios of law and information technology, and Prakash Javadekar, the minister for environment, information and broadcasting and heavy industries, stepped down.

Also among the top ministers who were asked resign was Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, paying the political price for the government’s struggles to cope with a devastating second wave of coronavirus infections.

In all, at least 12 ministers have resigned including prominent ones like Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and junior Environment Minister Babul Supriyo.

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The “big four” ministers for finance, foreign affairs, home and defence, however, are unlikely to be changed.

Before announcing his first cabinet reshuffle since winning a second term in 2019, PM Modi consulted leaders of his BJP, a government official said.

Government sources said the Prime Minister had been aiming to include younger members of his party to be ministers and also give greater representation to women and backward classes – a crucial consideration ahead of important state elections starting with Uttar Pradesh early next year.

PM Modi’s government has faced its most stinging criticism in years as the infections and deaths surged in April and May, overwhelming hospitals and crematoriums.

Images of bodies of presumed COVID-19 victims washed up on the banks of the Ganges river fuelled outrage over a failure to do more to protect vulnerable communities.

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Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram was among the first to comment on the changes.

“The resignations of the Union Health Minister and the MoS (Minister of State) Health is a candid confession that the Modi government has utterly failed in managing the pandemic,” Mr Chidambaram tweeted.

“There is a lesson for ministers in these resignations. If things go right the credit will go to the PM, if things go wrong the Minister will be the fall guy. That is the price a Minister pays for implicit obedience and unquestioning  subservience,” he wrote.

Here is the list of ministers who will take oath today for their new posts:

1. Narayan Rane

2. Sarbananda Sonowal

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3. Dr. Virendra Kumar

4. Jyotiraditya M Scindia

5. Ramchandra Prasad Singh

6. Ashwini Vaishnaw

7. Pashupati Paras

8. Kiren Rijiju

9. Raj Kumar Singh

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10.Hardeep Singh Puri

11.Mansukh Mandaviya

12.Bhupender Yadav

13.Parshottam Rupala

14.G. Kishan Reddy

15.Anurag Singh Thakur

16.Pankaj Choudhary

17. Anupriya Singh Patel

18.Dr. Satya Pal Singh Baghel

19. Rajeev Chandrasekhar

20.Shobha Karandlaje

21.Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma

22. Darshana Vikram Jardosh

23. Meenakshi Lekhi

24. Annapurna Devi

25.A. Narayanaswamy

26.Kaushal Kishore

27.Ajay Bhatt

28.B. L. Verma

29.Ajay Kumar

30.Chauhan Devusinh

31.Bhagwanth Khuba

32.Kapil Moreshwar Patil

33.Pratima Bhoumik

34.Dr. Subhas Sarkar

35.Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad

36.Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh

37.Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar

38.Bishweswar Tudu

39.Shantanu Thakur

40.Dr. Munjapara Mahendrabhai

41.John Barla

42.Dr. L. Murugan

43.Nisith Pramanik

Moreover, the setting up of a new Ministry to “strengthen” the co-operative movement, the appointment of four new Governors and the transfer of four others Tuesday, had set the stage for the much-anticipated expansion of the Union Council of Ministers.

There are plans for a ceremony to swear in new ministers at the Rashtrapati Bhavan at 6 pm. Only a small number of people will be attending the ceremony due to the coronavirus risk.

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