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Narendra Modi cabinet: Commerce, Aviation, other economic ministries to have new faces
While most senior BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Nirmala Sitharaman were inducted in the new cabinet, nearly half of the previous cabinet was replaced, with biggest changes coming in various economic ministers such as Commerce, Aviation, Tourism and Telecom. Several ministers heading these ministries failed to get a berth in the new Modi cabinet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the oath with his new cabinet on Thursday evening at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. While most senior BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Nirmala Sitharaman were inducted in the new cabinet, nearly half of the previous cabinet was replaced, with biggest changes coming in various economic ministers such as Commerce, Aviation, Tourism and Telecom. Several ministers heading these ministries failed to get a berth in the new Modi cabinet.
Suresh Prabhu, who held the commerce portfolio and additional charge of civil aviation, has not been inducted in the new cabinet. He had also held the charge of Railway ministry before Piyush Goyal. Prabhu's junior in the Civil Aviation Ministry, Jayant Sinha has also been kept out. While Arun Jaitley opted out of the Council of Ministers a day before the swearing-in citing serious health issues, Manoj Sinha has not been rewarded with any new ministerial assignment.
Despite strong Modi wave in Uttar Pradesh, Sinha lost the election from Ghazipur. In the previous government, Sinha was Minister for Telecom (independent charge) and Minister of State for Railways. Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete, a face of the party in the previous Modi government, has also not been accommodated. The Heavy Industries Minister had lost the Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra.
The Tourism Ministry would also get a new face as KJ Alphons lost his maiden Lok Sabha bid from Kerala's Ernakulam. The new cabinet has as many as 19 first-time ministers while 35 ministers of the previous council of ministers have been replaced. Interestingly, only 57 ministers were sworn-in on Thursday leaving enough scope for expansion and reshuffle of the cabinet in the near future.
The appointments also hint that the BJP wants experts to handle key areas. The approach reflected in the induction of former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar in the cabinet. Former Indian Foreign Service Officer Hardeep Singh Puri, who lost Lok Sabha election from Amritsar, has also been included in Team Modi for the second time.
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