Modi Cabinet: Rajnath Sworn in After PM, and Shah Before Gadkari

Seated next to Modi in the front row are senior leader Rajnath Singh, newly-elected MP Amit Shah and Nitin Gadkari.

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Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah and Nitin Gadkari are among the top leaders to take oath to become the part of Modi’s Cabinet.

After a magnificent victory, the pictures of Narendra Modi's grand swearing-in ceremony tell the story of the new cabinet. The first to take oath was Modi, followed by senior leader Rajnath Singh. However, it is interesting that present at number three was current BJP chief Amit Shah followed by Nitin Gadkari.

Seating Arrangement Indicates Status

In the audience were Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

The chairs at the right-hand side of the stage were for the leaders who were being inducted on Thursday along with Narendra Modi. Right next to Modi was Rajnath Singh, followed by Amit Shah, who is a first-time MP, and then Nitin Gadkari.

If we consider the seating arrangement an indication of the respective importance accorded to the ministers, it is clear that Singh has maintained his No 2 position in the new cabinet after being Home Minister in the previous Modi cabinet.

Formally, being number two in the government means that if there is an emergency in the absence of the prime minister, Singh can preside over the Cabinet meeting or the take necessary decisions for the government.

Shah Stands Tall

However, Amit Shah's chair next to Rajnath suggests that he is going to hold more power than Nitin Gadkari in the upcoming Cabinet.

Anyone looking at Shah's performance from the last five years may not be surprised by this.

Gadkari is senior to Amit Shah in both the Cabinet and the BJP. In 2014, Shah became the BJP president while Gadkari was in charge of the post in 2009. This is the first time Shah is becoming a part of the government, while Gadkari has successfully held a prominent ministry before.

If we look back at Modi’s 2014 oath-taking ceremony, Rajnath Singh took oath after Modi, followed by Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. This time, both Swaraj and Jaitley are not int he Cabinet. Amit Shah taking oath at number 3 is a good indicator of his rise over the last five years.

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