In major reshuffle, Modi inducts 36 new Ministers, promotes 7, drops 12
New Delhi, July 7, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today carried out a major reshuffle and expansion of his Council of Ministers by inducting as many as 36 new Ministers and promoting seven existing Ministers of State even as he, in a rather surprising move, dropped 12 of his colleagues, including Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar.
Apart from Law and Information Technology Minister Prasad and Information and Broadcasting Minister Javadekar, the others who resigned before the reshuffle were Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministers D V Sadananda Gowda, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal "Nishank" and Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar.
Babul Supriyo, Sanjay Dhotre, Rattan Lal Kataria, Pratap Chandra Sarangi and Debasree Chaudhari are the others who put in their papers.
A press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said President Ram Nath Kovind, as advised by the Prime Minister, had accepted the resignation of these Ministers with immediate effect.
The President later administered the oaths of office and secrecy to the 36 new Ministers and the seven who have been promoted to Cabinet rank at a simple ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan, at which Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, Modi, his Ministerial colleagues and other dignitaries were present.
Of the 43 who were sworn in today, 15 have Cabinet rank while the rest are Ministers of State.
The new Cabinet Ministers include former Chief Ministers Narayan Rane of Maharashtra and Sarbananda Sonowal of Assam, BJP leader and former Union Minister Virendra Kumar, former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, former IAS officers Ramchandra Prasad Singh and Ashwini Vaishnaw, Pashu Pati Kumar Paras, an MP from Bihar and senior BJP leader Bhupender Yadav.
Kiren Rijiju, Raj Kumar Singh, Hardeep Singh Puri, Mansukh Mandaviya, G Kishan Reddy, Parshottam Rupala and Anurag Singh Thakur are the existing Ministers of State who have been promoted to Cabinet rank.
The new Ministers of State include Pankaj Choudhary, Anupriya Singh Patel, Satya Pal Singh Baghel, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Shobha Karandlaje, Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, Darshana Vikram Jardosh, Meenakshi Lekhi, Annpurna Devi, A. Narayanaswamy, Kaushal Kishore, Ajay Bhatt, B. L. Verma and Ajay Kumar.
Others who took oath as Ministers of State are Devusinh Chauhan, Bhagwanth Khuba, Kapil Moreshwar Patil, Pratima Bhoumik, Dr. Subhas Sarkar, Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Bishweswar Tudu, Shantanu Thakur, Dr. Mahendrabhai Munjapara, John Barla, Dr. L. Murugan and Nisith Pramanik.
Modi later congratulated all the new Ministers and wished them the very best in their ministerial tenures.
"I congratulate all the colleagues who have taken oath today and wish them the very best for their ministerial tenure. We will continue working to fulfil aspirations of the people and build a strong and prosperous India. #Govt4Growth," he sad on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Of the new Ministers, Rane and Scindia are former leaders of the Congress.
Rane, 69, had been with the Shiv Sena before leaving the party to join the Congress but made his exit from there, too, because he was not made the Chief Minister. He is currently serving his first term as a member of the Rajya Sabha.
He has been a six-time MLA and one-time MLC in Maharashtra and has also served as Minister in the state, handling various portfolios.
Scindia, 50, is a former Lok Sabha member and currently a member of the Rajya Sabha. He has served as Union Minister for Power and as Minister of State for Commerce and Communiations. He has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Harvard.
Sonowal, 58, the former Chief Minister of Assam, is a two-time member of the Lok Sabha and has been elected twice as an MLA in his state. He had earlier served as Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; and Youth Affairs and Sports. He has an LL.B. from Guwahati University.
Virendra Kumar, 67, is a Lok Sabha member from Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh, serving his 7th term as an MP, making him one of the seniormost Parliamentarians. He has served in the past as Union Minister of State for Women & Child Development and Minority Affairs. He has a Ph.D. in Child Labour from Dr Harisingh Gour University.
Ramchandra Prasad Singh, 63, is a member of the Rajya Sabha. He is a retired IAS officer of the 1984 batch. He has an MA in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, 50, is a member of the Rajya Sabha from Odisha. He, too, is a former IAS officer (1994 batch), who has contributed a great deal to the PPP framework in infrstructure. He has an MBA from Wharton and an M. Tech. from IIT Kanpur. He has worked for global firms such as General Electric and Siemens.
Pashu Pati Kumar Paras, 68, brother of late Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, is the Lok Sabha member from Hajipur in Bihar and has also had seven terms as an MLA and one as an MLC in his state, apart from serving as a Minister in the state government. He has a B.Ed. from Bhagalpur University. He recently rebelled against his nephew and Ram Vilas Paswan's son Chirag Paswan and now heads a breakaway faction of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).
Bhupender Yadav, 52, is a member of the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan, serving his second term. He has an LL.B. from Government College, Ajmer and has practised as an advocate in the Supreme Court.