Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet expansion on Wednesday saw big representation being given to OBC community and leaders from poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, young being promoted and professionals being inducted. The reshuffle took up the strength of the ministry to 77 and left out many senior ministers.
In the oath-taking ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan that lasted nearly 1.5 hours, 43 ministers took charge, including 15 Cabinet and 28 junior ministers. The first to take charge was former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane, followed by another former CM Sarbananda Sonowal. Jyotiraditya Scindia, who broke the Congress party in Madhya Pradesh and brought down the Kamal Nath government and joined the BJP, has been rewarded with a Cabinet rank
While leaving the big four ministers untouched — Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Jaishankar Menon, Nirmala Sitharaman — the reshuffle resulted in an entire generation of senior ministers being left out. Among them surprise exclusions were Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, Harsh Vardhan and Ramesh Pokhriyal. The Modi ministry now has a total of 27 OBCs, 12 Dalits, 8 Scheduled Castes and 11 women.
Among the new inductees were those promoted to Cabinet rank were Kiren Rijiju, RK Singh, Hardeep Singh Puri and Bhupender Yadav. Among the Ministers of State were Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Bishweswar Tudu and Shantanu Thakur.
The poll-bound Uttar Pradesh has got seven berths, including Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal. In fact, not just the state, even each region has been represented. Same with Gujarat, which has got three representations in the ministry. Promoting the ‘Look East policy’ , the PM has given four berths to leaders from the northeast.