Narendra Modi cabinet: Sushma Swaraj, Maneka Gandhi to Rajyavardhan Rathore - Big names that are missing
The new Narendra Modi cabinet that took oath on Thursday evening was full of mild surprises, if not shocks. As expected, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders like Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah were included in the cabinet but as many as 35 ministers of the previous cabinet were replaced.
The new Narendra Modi cabinet that took oath on Thursday evening was full of mild surprises, if not shocks. As expected, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders like Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah were included in the cabinet but as many as 35 ministers of the previous cabinet were replaced. The biggest names missing from the new cabinet were of former health minister in the first Modi government JP Nadda and eight-time MP Maneka Gandhi. While Nadda is tipped to be the new party president, Gandhi might be elected as the pro-tem speaker in the new Lok Sabha.
Sushma Swaraj, Rajyavardhan Rathore and Mahesh Sharma are among other notable omissions in the BJP-led NDA's second innings. Despite winning their seats, six-time MP Radhamohan Singh, Sharma, Jayant Sinha, Anupriya Patel, Jual Oram, Ram Kripal Yadav and Rathore have lost their ministerial berths.
There were many other former ministers who either did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections or suffered defeat. Swaraj had opted out of fighting the polls due to health reasons but was still tipped to be a part of the new cabinet. She was one of the most popular ministers in the previous government. Others who decided not to contest were Suresh Prabhu, who held the civil aviation portfolio, Uma Bharati, the minister for drinking water and sanitation and Birender Singh, minister of steel.
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Manoj Sinha, the minister of state for railways, Alphons Kannanthanam, the minister of tourism with independent charge, and Hansraj Ahir, the minister of state for home, were among those who tasted defeat in the elections. Former bureaucrat and minister of state for urban affairs (independent charge) Hardeep Singh Puri, however, retained his berth despite losing elections from Amritsar.
Vijay Sampla, who was the minister of state, social justice and empowerment, was dropped. He was denied a ticket by the BJP after it accused the party of "cow slaughter". Known for his controversial statements, Anantkumar Hegde, who held the skill development portfolio, has also been dropped.
Arun Jaitley, who was the Union finance minister, had opted out of being in the government for health reasons.