After the mega cabinet reshuffle in the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday, the union council of ministers has got an addition of seven more women members, including Meenakshi Lekhi, Shobha Karandlaje, and Anupriya Singh Patel. Now, the total strength of women ministers in the Modi cabinet is 11. 

Shobha Karandlaje, Darshana Vikram Jardosh, Meenakshi Lekhi, Annapurna Devi, Pratima Bhoumik, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, and Apna Dal’s Anupriya Singh Patel are the seven women who took oath as ministers.

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In this list, three are first-time MPs while Anupriya Patel made a comeback as she was the Union Minister of State for Health under Modi government earlier. 

On Wednesday, 43 new ministers, including cabinet ministers and 28 ministers of state, were sworn in after which the strength of the council of ministers is at 78. These included, BJP’s Sarbananda Sonowal, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ajay Bhatt, Bhupender Yadav, Shantanu Thakur and Kapil Patil, and LJP’s Pashupati Paras.

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The other women present in Modi’s council of ministers are cabinet ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, while other women ministers are Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Renuka Singh Saruta. 

This comes after Minister of State for Women and Child Development Debashree Chaudhuri resigned earlier on Wednesday.

In the first term of Narendra Modi, there were nine women in his council, including six in the cabinet. 

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As many as 12 ministers resigned, reportedly to facilitate the rejig, from their posts as the Union Council of Ministers ahead of the mega cabinet reshuffle.

Among those who quit were Labour minister Santosh Gangwar, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, his MoS Sanjay Dhotre, MoS Women and Child Development Debasree Chaudhuri and Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister D V Sadananda Gowda.   

The reshuffle comes at a time when the BJP is bracing to face 5 state assembly elections next year, including the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh.