New Ministers in the Modi cabinet have been handed key portfolios and younger ministers were elevated to stronger portfolios as the new cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi took shape last evening.
While the number of junior ministers has doubled from 23 to 45, the number of cabinet ministers has increased by 50%, from 21 to 30. This reshuffle has taken the total strength of the cabinet to 77, in addition to the Prime Minister himself.
- The Health Ministry, which was headed by Dr. Harsh Vardhan and has been crucial in recent times, will now be headed by Mansukh Mandaviya, who will be assisted by Dr. Bharti Pawar as the junior Minister. Ministry of Chemical Fertilisers has also been allocated to Mansukh Mandaviya.
- Amit Shah, Union Home Minister has got the additional charge of the newly created Ministry of Cooperation.
- Ministry of Civil Aviation will be headed by Jyotiraditya Scindia. His father Madhavrao Scindia has also been at the helm of this Ministry.
- Ashwani Vashnaw, who was allocated Ministry of Railways and IT Ministry is probably the highest educated in the new cabinet - an MTech from IIT Kanpur and MBA from Wharton.
- Kiren Rijiju, who was earlier the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, is now at the helm of the Ministry of Law and Justice. Being a Law graduate himself, this is yet another professional sync with portfolio.
- Anurag Thakur has been given the dual charge of Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs and Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.
The high profile mega cabinet reboot is being touted as induction of fresh blood, inclusiveness and professionalism into governance at one end, while on the other it is being seen as the realisation and acceptance of failure by the erstwhile Council of Ministers during their time at the top of their respective portfolios. Senior members of the Congress have also said that this is a poll gimmick to prepare for the upcoming state elections in crucial states and has nothing to do with either inclusion or development.
- Ministry of Steel will be headed by Ramchandra Prasad Singh, who is an ex- JDU member.
- Former Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal will be handling Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways in addition to being at the helm of Ministry of Ayush.
- Dharmendra Pradhan will now head the Ministry of Education, the seat that was earlier the domain of Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank”.
- Meenakshi Lekhi has been given the charge as Minister of State in External Affairs and Culture. She has earlier been the media spokesperson of the BJP as well.
- Hardeep Singh Puri, who was earlier heading Civil Aviation, will now be at the helm of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Housing and Urban Affairs.
- Bhupendra Yadav has got the dual charge of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change as well as Ministry of Labour and Employment.
- Parshottam Rupala has been given charge of Ministry of Dairies and Fisheries.
- Pashupati Paras has been given the Food Processing portfolio.
- G Kishan Reddy will head the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern India.