Modi Cabinet dons a new look: 43 take oath, Scindia, Meenakshi Lekhi, Rajeev Chandrasekhar among new ministers

Cabinet reshuffle
New ministers Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Anupriya Singh Patel, Ashwini Vaishnaw taking the oath on Wednesday evening.

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet underwent a major reshuffle on Wednesday with 43 leaders taking oath as new ministers.

Of the new ministers, 15 were inducted into the Union Cabinet while 28 sworn in as ministers of state.

With 36 fresh faces join the squad as 12 ministers quit, the Modi government now has 77 ministers. Seven junior ministers have been promoted as Cabinet ministers.

Of the new ministers, 15 were inducted into the Union Cabinet while 28 sworn in as ministers of state.Jyotiraditya Scindia, Pashupati Kumar Paras, Bhupender Yadav, Anupriya Patel, Shobha Karandlaje, Meenakshi Lekhi, Ajay Bhatt, Anurag Thakur are some of the new faces in the BJP cabinet.

Minister of State in the Finance Ministry, Anurag Thakur, took oath as a Cabinet minister on Wednesday.

MoS for Home, G. Kishan Reddy, and MoS for Agriculture, Parshottam Rupala, also got a promotion.

Hardeep Singh Puri, who was the Minister of State (independent charge) for Civil Aviation and Housing and Urban Affairs, has also been elevated. So has Kiren Rijiju who held independent charge for Youth Affairs and Sports.

Power Minister R.K. Singh, who held independent charge, and Mansukh Mandaviya, Shipping and Ports Minister with independent charge, have also been promoted. Gujarat will now get two additional Cabinet ministers in the form of Rupala and Mandaviya.

Before the massive reshuffle, several heavyweight ministers had resigned the Modi government, including Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Complete list of new ministers

1. Narayan Tatu Rane
2. Sarbananda Sonowal
3. Dr Virendra Kumar
4. Jyotiraditya M Scindia
5. Ramchandra Prasad Singh
6. Ashwini Vaishnaw
7. Pashu Pati Kumar Paras
8. Kiren Rijiju
9. Raj Kumar Singh
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. Meenakashi Lekhi
24. Annpurna 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

Harsh Vardhan, Pokhriyal among exits

This is the first reshuffle in the Council of Ministers by Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he assumed charge for a second term in May 2019.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal "Nishank" and Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D V Sadananda Gowda were among several Union ministers who had resigned earlier on Wednesday ahead of the reshuffle.

Besides Vardhan, Pokhriyal and Gowda, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Debasree Chaudhuri, Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria and Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo also resigned.

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot had resigned after he was made Governor of Karnataka on Tuesday.

Health Minister Vardhan, whose handling of the COVID-19 crisis had drawn flak from the opposition parties, resigned from the Union Council of Ministers, official sources said.

Vardhan, a doctor himself, had been in charge of the health ministry as well as the science and technology ministry as the COVID-19 pandemic broke and then India worked to develop vaccines.

However, his various comments in the middle of the crisis were slammed by many as insensitive and ignorant of the ground reality, even as he strongly defended the government's handling of the situation.

Vardhan had also hit out at the Opposition for its criticism of the government on the handling of the pandemic, often accusing former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi of politicising the pandemic crisis.

He had also replied to former prime minister Manmohan Singh's letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused the Congress of spreading vaccine hesitancy.

Pokhriyal, who tested positive for COVID-19 on April 21, was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here in June again after developing post-COVID complications.

He has resigned from his post citing health reasons, sources said. The former Uttarakhand chief minister had taken charge as the HRD Minister in May 2019.

Dhotre, who represents the Akola Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra, was made the MoS for Education, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology in May 2019.

Chaudhuri submitted her resignation in the morning, one of her close aides said. She was elected to the Lok Sabha from West Bengal's Raiganj constituency in the 2019 general elections.

Asked whether he has resigned from the post of Labour Minister, Gangwar answered in the affirmative. "Yes, I have resigned," he told PTI.

His resignation comes weeks after Gangwar had complained to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the situation in his Bareilly constituency, saying officials don't take calls and government health centres send back patients for ''referrals'' from the district hospital.

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