Without Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley among the Union ministers who took oath along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, the new Cabinet will lack two of the four ministers in the Prime Minister-chaired Cabinet Committee on Security.
Other Cabinet-rank ministers who are missing this time include former ministers of Civil Aviation and Commerce Suresh Prabhu, Drinking Water and Sanitation Uma Bharti, and Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi.
Jagat Prakash Nadda, who was the Health and Family Welfare minister, has also not been included in the new Cabinet — there is speculation that he may be asked to lead the party if incumbent BJP president Amit Shah relinquishes the post since he has now taken a place in the Union council of ministers.
Other former Cabinet ministers who did not take oath on Thursday include Anant Geete (Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises), Chaudhary Birender Singh (Steel), Jual Oram (Tribal Affairs) and Radha Mohan Singh (Agriculture, Farmers’ Welfare).
In all, 57 ministers took oath, compared to 70 members in the previous council of ministers. Not only is it smaller but is also drastically different in terms of who has managed to return. Out of 70 ministers, more than half have been dropped — only 33 were on the stage where the new ministers were seated on Thursday evening.
The new government lacks a few prominent faces below the Cabinet rank as well. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the former Union Minister of State (with independent charge) of Information and Broadcasting and Sports and Youth Affairs, has been dropped. Manoj Sinha, who had independent charge of Communications and was an MoS in Railways, is also missing so far in the new ministry. Sinha had lost to Afzal Ansari of the BSP from Ghazipur, UP.
Alphons Kannanthanam, who had independent charge of Tourism, and Mahesh Sharma, who was MoS (independent charge) for Culture and Environment, Forest and Climate Change, also did not find a place in the new Cabinet.
Nearly two out of three ministers of MoS rank in the last Union Cabinet have been dropped this time. Of 34 former Ministers of State, 22 have not been brought back. These include Jayant Sinha, Vijay Goel, Rajen Gohain, Anathkumar Hegde, S S Ahluwalia, P P Chaudhary, Krishna Raj, Satya Pal Singh, and Anupriya Patel of BJP ally Apna Dal.
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