Modi inducts 36 new Ministers, promotes 7, drops 12 in major Cabinet reshuffle
New Delhi, July 7, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inducted 36 new Ministers, promoted seven existing ones and, in a rather surprising move, dropped 12 of his colleagues, including Ravi Shankar Prasad and Prakash Javadekar, as part of a major reshuffle and expansion of his Council of Ministers.
The exercise comes a little more than two years into his second five-year term in office and has been crafted with one eye on the Assembly elections due in some States next year while also aiming at stepping up the performance of the Government in the remaining three years of its tenure.
No one quite expected the axing of senior Ministers on the scale that happened today. Apart from Law and Information Technology Minister Prasad and Information and Broadcasting Minister Javadekar, the others who resigned just hours 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.
Of them, Gehlot was yesterday appointed as the new Governor of Karnataka.
Babul Supriyo, Sanjay Dhotre, Rattan Lal Kataria, Pratap Chandra Sarangi and Debasree Chaudhari are the others who put in their papers.
At least some of them are expected to be drafted for party work.
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 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, 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.
In the distribution of portfolios that was announced later in the night by Rashtrapati Bhavan, Scindia is the new Civil Aviation Minister while Vaishaw has been given Railways; Communications; and Electronics and Information Technology.
There has been no change in the portfolios of senior Ministers such as Rajnath Singh (Defence), Amit Shah (Home Affairs), Nirmala Sitharaman (Finance and Corporate Affairs), Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (External Affairs) and Narendra Singh Tomar (Agriculture & Family Welfare). Shah has also been given charge of the newly-created Ministry of Cooperation.
Nitin Gadkari will continue to handle Road Transport and Highways but has shed Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Railways used to be handled earlier by Piyush Goyal, who will continue to look after Commerce & Industry. He will also be in charge of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution; and Textiles.
Dharmendra Pradhan has been moved from Petroleum & Natural Gas to Education. He will also handle Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Of the new Cabinet Ministers, Narayan Rane has got MSMEs, while Sarbananda Sonowal will be the Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and the Minister of Ayush.
Virendra Kumar has been entrusted with Social Justice and Empowerment while Ramachandra Prasad Singh has been assigned Steel.
Pashu Pati Kumar Paras is the new Minister of Fodo Processing Industries.
Among the earlier Ministers of State who have been promoted to Cabinet Rank, Kiren Rijiju, the Sports Minister so far, has been moved to Law and Justice while Raj Kumar Singh will continue to look after Power and New and Renewable Energy.
Anurag Singh Thakur is the new Information and Broadcasting Minister as well as the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports.
Hardeep Singh Puri has been moved from Civil Aviation to Petroleum and Natural Gas. He will also continue to look after Housing and Urban Affairs.
Mansukh Mandavia is the new Health and Family Welfare Minister and he will also look after Chemicals and Fertilizers. Bhupender Yadav has got two portfolios: Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Labour and Employment.
Parshotta Rupala has been assigned Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying while G Kishan Reddy will be the new Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region.
Among the existing Cabinet Ministers, Arjun Munda will handle Tribal Affairs, while Smriti Irani will continue to look after Women and Child Development.
Pralhad Joshi will handle Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines while Mikhtar Abbas Naqvi will continue to be in charge of Minority Affairs. Giriraj Singh will look after Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, while Gajendra Singh Shekhawat will continue to look after Jal Shakti.
Mahendra Pandey will be in charge of Heavy Industries.
The Prime Minister has kept with himself the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; the Departments of Atomic Energy and Space; All important policy issues; and all other portfolios not allocated to any Minister.
Among the Ministers of State with Independent Charge, Rao Inderjit Singh has been given the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation and the Ministry of Planning. He is also Minister of State in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), has been given independent charge of the Ministries of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences. Besides, he is also the Minister of State in the Ministry of Perssonnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and in the Departments of Atomic Energy and Space.
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 said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Of the new Cabinet 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).
With today's expansion, the strength of the Council of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, has gone up to 78 -- including 30 Cabinet Ministers, two Ministers of State with independent charge and 45 Ministers of State.