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No Change in Big 4, But Some Surprises: Who's Got What in Modi 3.0 Cabinet?

While Finance, Defense and Home Ministry has been retained, Health & Jal Shakti have got new Ministers.

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A day after the new cabinet under Modi's 3.0 government was sworn-in, all eyes shifted to the portfolio allocation to the newly appointed ministers. Just as the ceremony saw some old and new faces, so did the cabinet portfolios which released on Monday, 10 June. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has retained the big ministries.

While Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar and Nitin Gadkari have retained their portfolios from Modi 2.0 to Modi 3.0, this time, some new entrants such as Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chirag Paswan, CR Paatil and Jual Oram have also got notable Ministries.

Modi was sworn into office for a third consecutive term Sunday, followed by his council of ministers, a group that consists of 30 cabinet ministers.

Earlier on Monday, the first Cabinet meeting of the newly-formed NDA government also took place around 5:30 PM at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg in Delhi.

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Along with PM Modi, 71 ministers took oath out of which 60 are BJP leaders, two each from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Janata Dal United (JDU), and one each from the Janata Dal (Secular), Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), Shiv Sena (SHS), Apna Dal (Soneylal), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP-Ramvilas Paswan), and Republican Party of India (RPI).

While 30 were inducted as Union Ministers, 41 others took oath as Ministers of State (MoS).

Let's look at some key portfolios, the ones retained and the ones shuffled this time.

Maintaining Continuity? Some Key Portfolios:

  1. Amit Shah retains the Home Ministry. Shah was also the Home Minister in the Modi 2.0 government and is currently the BJP MP from Gujarat's Gandhinagar where he won by over 7.4 lakh votes. In 2014, he was appointed as the national president of the BJP, a position he held until 2020.

  2. Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to return as the Finance Minister again in the new NDA-led government, thus marking her second innings as the Finance Minister. In Modi's first term, Arun Jaitely was the then Finance Minister.

  3. Rajnath Singh has also retained his cabinet portfolio of being the Defence Minister under Modi's third term. This would be his second innings as the Defence Minister after Modi's 2.0 term. In 2014, he was the Union Home Minister. In the general elections, Rajnath won Lucknow, defeating Samajwadi Party's Ravidas Mehrotra by about 1.35 lakh votes and marked his third consecutive win.

  4. Nitin Gadkari retained his position as Transport Minister in Modi 3.0. Meanwhile, BJP's Ajay Tamta and Harsh Malhotra are to be the Ministers of State. This would be Gadkari's third term as the Road Transport Minister.

  5. S Jaishankar will also be retaining the position of External Affairs Minister, thereby marking his second innings hereon. He was made the Minister of External Affairs on 31 May 2019. Before taking the charge of External Affairs ministry in 2019, he also served as India's foreign secretary during Modi's first tenure.

  6. Ashwini Vaishnaw has retained the Railways Ministry and IT Ministry but has got another key ministry — Information and Broadcasting. Vaishnaw held the Railway Ministry since July 2021 and had replaced Piyush Goyal, who led the ministry from September 2017 to July 2021. Meanwhile, BJP's Anurag Thakur who has been dropped from the Union council of ministers this time held the I&B Ministry in Modi 2.0.

  7. Piyush Goyal is also set to retain his cabinet portfolio of being the Minister of Commerce and Industry for a second term. Notably, this was also the first time that he won a Lok Sabha seat, representing Mumbai North-West Lok Sabha constituency with a margin of over 3.5 lakh votes.

What Did Former Chief Ministers Get?

  • Manohar Lal Khattar will handle two key ministries — Power, Housing and Urban Affairs. For the Power Ministry, the six-time North Goa MP Shripad Yesso Naik will serve as the Minister of State for the portfolio. A crucial portfolio for Khattar who had served as Haryana's chief minister until March 12, thereafter which he was succeeded by Nayab Singh Saini. The anti-incumbency being faced by Khattar-led state government is said to have cost BJP five out of ten seats in the recently held Lok Sabha polls.

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  • Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister is the new Agriculture, Farmer Welfare, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister. This Ministry is among the more high-profile and crucial portfolios in the Modi government, given the recurring tension with farmers since the 2020 protests over the now-repealed farm laws. Chouhan contested the recent election from his Vidisha stronghold, which he won by a margin of over 8.2 lakh votes.

  • HD Kumaraswamy, the former Karnataka Chief Minister and the lone Janata Dal (Secular) leader has been appointed as Minister of Heavy Industries and Minister of Steel. This is also his first time as a Central government minister. In the Lok Sabha polls, he won from the Mandya constituency against the Venkataramane Gowda (Congress) by a margin of 2,84,620 votes.

  • Jitan Ram Manjhi of Hindustani Awam Morcha and ex-Bihar chief minister is the new Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The Dalit face of the NDA, Manjhi recently won the Gaya seat by over 1 lakh votes in the elections. In 2019, he had lost the seat to JD(U). Meanwhile, Shobha Karandlaje would be the Minister of State (Mos) in the Ministry of MSME and also the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

From Nadda to Paswan, Some Surprises:

  • JP Nadda: The current President of the BJP is coming back as the Health Minister after having served as one in Modi's first term. He has been given one more portfolio: Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers. Nadda's swearing in as a Cabinet Minister was surprising, considering the BJP's performance in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. BJP under Nadda failed to cross the halfway mark, a performance much worse than his predecessor Amit Shah.

  • Ram Mohan Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has been given the Civil Aviation Ministry, replacing the BJP's Jyotiraditya Scindia in that role. Naidu who is the national general secretary of the TDP, is one of the youngest Cabinet members in the Modi 3.0 government. He beat the YSR Congress Party's Perada Tilak in Srikakulam by nearly three lakh votes.

  • Chirag Paswan of Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) is going to debut as Minister of Food Processing Industries. The actor-tuned-politician had won the Hajipur with a winning margin of 1.7 lakh votes. Meanwhile, Ravneet Singh Bittu will be the MoS in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries as well as Railways Ministry.

  • CR Paatil, the Gujarat BJP chief has been given the Jal Shakti Ministry this time, replacing Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. He was sworn in as a Cabinet Minister for the first time on Sunday. In the recently concluded elections, he won by a margin of 7.73 lakh votes — the highest in Gujarat. In 2019, he won with a margin of 6.89 lakh votes and in 2014 polls, his victory margin was a record in Gujarat and the third highest in the country.

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  • Jual Oram, when one BJP's tallest tribal leaders in Odisha has been given the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Oram took oath as a Minister for the first time in 1998 when the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee created the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. He also served as the Tribal Minister in the first Modi government in 2014. He will now replace Arjun Munda who served as the tribal minister in Modi 2.0 as this time Munda has been dropped from the cabinet.

  • Annapurna Devi, the second woman cabinet minister has been appointed as the Minister of Women and Child Development. Devi, BJP's OBC face in Jharkhand was elected from the Koderma Lok Sabha constituency this time. Previously, she served as the Union Minister of State for Education in the Modi government from 2021 and will now replace Smriti Irani who has been dropped from the council of ministers.

Apart from them, some other major shuffling where portfolios have been changed:

  • Jyotiraditya Scindia getting the Ministry of Communications; Development of North Eastern Region

  • Dharmendra Pradhan becoming Minister of Education

  • Kiren Rijiju going from Earth Sciences to being the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; and Minister of Minority Affairs.

  • Mansukh Mandaviya being appointed as Minister of Labour and Employment and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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