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In 4 Charts: Caste and Ministry Allocation in the Modi 3.0 Cabinet

When we compare ministry allocation with respect to the NDA’s vote base, we find a disproportionate composition.

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The Modi 3.0 cabinet of the new NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government has 72 ministers including the prime minister. 61 are from the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and 11 from allied parties. The representation is broadly in line with the overall tally of the NDA, i.e., the BJP has 82 percent representation and allies 18 percent.

The BJP has taken into consideration caste, region, and gender, in an attempt to strike a balance.

27 ministers hail from the OBC (Other Backward Classes) community, 10 from SC (Scheduled Caste), five from ST (Scheduled Tribe) and five from the minority communities.

That makes 47 ministers from pichda, dalit, adivasi, and alpsankhyak. Among the minorities, there are two Sikhs, one Christian, and two ministers from the Buddhist community.
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The formation of the cabinet can be done on the basis of:

  • Caste and religion-wise population of the country 

  • Caste and religion-wise MPs won

  • Caste/religion-wise support base of the party

As per the 2011 census, Hindus account for 80 percent, Muslims 14 percent, and the remaining six percent are Sikhs, Christians, and other religions. Amongst Hindus, roughly 41 percent are OBCs, 17 percent SCs and nine percent are STs, and 13 percent belong to the upper caste/general category. 

The NDA gave 67 percent of tickets to OBC-SC-ST candidates, largely in line with their population. However, the BJP, the biggest party of the alliance, does not normally give tickets to Muslim candidates.

Only two percent of candidates within the NDA belonged to minority communities, whereas their population is 20 percent. So, the NDA fielded 69 percent PDA (41 percent OBC, 17 percent SC, 9 percent ST, one percent Muslim, one percent Other Minorities) candidates and 31 percent upper caste candidates.

When we compare ministry allocation with respect to the NDA’s vote base, we find a disproportionate composition.

A post-result analysis shows that 33 percent of MPs elected on NDA tickets are upper castes, 42 percent are OBCs, 13 percent are SCs, 11 percent are STs and one percent are from minority communities. The composition of the NDA's strength, i.e. MPs elected, therefore, is largely in line with ticket distribution; 33 percent upper caste and 67 percent of SC-ST-OBC-Minorities.

SC candidates won slightly lower than the tickets allocated, by three percent, because of the loss in reserved seats due to the Opposition's narrative of change in the constitution if BJP came to power. More upper caste and OBC candidates have won compared to ticket allocation by two percent and one percent respectively.

When we compare ministry allocation with respect to the NDA’s vote base, we find a disproportionate composition.
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The upper caste share in ministry allocation is higher by two percent compared to the NDA's strength in the Lok Sabha. 

When we compare ministry allocation with respect to the NDA’s vote base, we find a disproportionate composition.

The OBC share in ministry allocation is lower by four percent, SC higher by one percent, ST share lower by four percent, while minority other than Muslims is higher by 6 percent, largely to make up for the absolute lack of Muslim representation.

Hindus occupy 93 percent and minorities seven percent of the ministerial position. 

Ministry Allocation Disproportionate to NDA’s Support Base

However, when we compare ministry allocation with respect to the NDA’s vote base, it highlights a disproportionate composition. As per the CSDS post-poll data, 60 percent of upper castes, 48 percent of upper OBCs and 58 percent of lower OBCs voted for the NDA. 36 percent of SCs, 51 percent of STs and 10 percent of Muslims also voted for the BJP-led alliance. 

When we compare ministry allocation with respect to the NDA’s vote base, we find a disproportionate composition.

Extrapolating this to the vote base of the NDA as per the author’s research and calculations, one out of every two voters of the NDA is an OBC, and one out of every four is a Dalit and an Adivasi. 16 out of every 100 voters of the NDA are upper castes and seven out of every 10 voters are from the minority community. 

Including minorities, 84 out of every 100 voters of the NDA in 2024 belonged to the SC-ST-OBC-minority community. Hence, the ministry allocation is heavily tilted towards upper castes, i.e., only 16 percent of the voter base but 35 percent of ministerial positions.

However, the allocation is in line with the strength of Lok Sabha MPs of the NDA. 

When we compare ministry allocation with respect to the NDA’s vote base, we find a disproportionate composition.

The source for NDA candidates and MPs is Dr. Gilles Verniers's article published in the Hindustan Times, with adjustments.

(Amitabh Tiwari is an independent political commentator and can be reached at @politicalbaaba on X [formerly Twitter]. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)

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