• Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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Modi 3.0 ministers include 33 first-timers, 6 from political families

Those joining Modi’s council of ministers for the first time include three former chief ministers: Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Manohar Lal Khattar, and HD Kumaraswamy.

Modi’s government comprises 71 ministers, including 30 cabinet ministers, five with independent charge, and 36 ministers of state. (Photo: X/@narendramodi)

By: Vivek Mishra

As the third Modi government formed on Sunday, 33 first-timers joined its ranks, with at least six from well-known political families.

Narendra Modi was sworn in on Sunday, and his government comprises 71 ministers, including 30 cabinet ministers, five with independent charge, and 36 ministers of state. The specific portfolios for these ministers will be announced at a later time.

Those joining Indian prime minister Modi’s council of ministers for the first time include three former chief ministers: Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana), and HD Kumaraswamy (Karnataka).

Chouhan is a five-time MP from Vidisha, a constituency previously represented by former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. He is also the longest-serving chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

Khattar, a former worker of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), served as the chief minister of Haryana twice. He resigned in March after ally Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) withdrew support.

Seven first-time ministers belong to the allies: Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) K Rammohan Naidu and Chandrasekhar Pemmasani; Janata Dal United’s (JDU) Lalan Singh and Ram Nath Thakur, Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) Jayant Chaudhary, Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP) Chirag Paswan, and HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S).

Jayant Chaudhary, the 45-year-old national chairman of the RLD, is the grandson of Chaudhary Charan Singh, India’s fifth prime minister, and the son of former Union Minister Chaudhary Ajit Singh. Chaudhary joined the NDA ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections after the BJP honoured his grandfather posthumously with the Bharat Ratna in February this year. Under his leadership, the RLD secured two seats in western Uttar Pradesh – Baghpat and Bijnor – with significant margins.

Chirag Paswan, son of the late Ram Vilas Paswan, one of Bihar’s most influential leaders, is making his debut as a minister in the central government. He won the Hajipur seat, held by his father nine times, by a margin of 1.7 lakh votes in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. His party, LJP (Ram Vilas), won all five seats it contested in Bihar under the NDA.

Ram Nath Thakur, from the JDU, is the son of Karpoori Thakur, a former chief minister of Bihar awarded the Bharat Ratna earlier this year. The 74-year-old leader is known for his close association with Nitish Kumar and his influence among the most backward classes. He previously served as a Bihar minister between 2005 and 2010.

Ravneet Singh Bittu, the grandson of Punjab’s former chief minister Beant Singh, is a new entrant to the Modi ministry. Bittu switched from the Congress to the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. He contested from Ludhiana and lost to Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring by over 20,000 votes. Bittu previously represented Punjab’s Anandpur Sahib in Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014 and Ludhiana from 2014 to 2024.

Raksha Khadse, the daughter-in-law of senior NCP leader Eknath Khadse, was sworn in as Union Minister. She retained her Raver seat, winning it for the third time. At the age of 26, she and Heena Gavit became the youngest MPs after winning the 2014 general elections. Her husband, Nikhil Khadse, allegedly died by suicide at the age of 37.

Jitin Prasada will return to the Union council of ministers after 10 years. He quit the Congress to join the BJP in 2021. His father, Jitendra Prasada, served as political adviser to two prime ministers, Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and PV Narasimha Rao in 1994.

Rajiv Ranjan, known as Lalan Singh, represents the Munger Lok Sabha seat in Bihar and is a trusted friend of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

The new faces also include Suresh Gopi, the actor-turned-politician, who became the first BJP MP from Kerala.

First-timers from the BJP are Kamlesh Paswan (Uttar Pradesh), Sukanta Majumder (West Bengal), Durga Das Uikey (Madhya Pradesh), Raj Bhushan Chaudhary (Bihar), Satish Dubey (Bihar), Sanjay Seth (Jharkhand), CR Paatil (Gujarat), Bhagirath Chaudhary (Rajasthan), Harsh Malhotra (Delhi), V Somanna (Karnataka), Savitri Thakur (UP), Kamaljeet Sehrawat (Delhi), Prataprao Jadhav (Maharashtra), George Kurian (Kerala), Kirti Vardhan Singh (UP), Tokhan Sahu (Chhattisgarh), Bhupathi Raju Srinivasa Varma (Andhra Pradesh), Nimuben Bambhniya (Gujarat), Murlidhar Mohol (Maharashtra), Pabitra Margherita (Assam), and Bandi Sanjay Kumar (Telangana).

(PTI)

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