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3 Key Highlights From PM Modi's New Cabinet On June 9, Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi took the oath of office as the leader of a coalition government for the third time in his career, following two terms in which the BJP held a majority by itself.

By Kavya Pillai

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi

On June 9, Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi took the oath of office as the leader of a coalition government for the third time in his career, following two terms in which the BJP held a majority by itself. At seventy-three, Modi matched the record set by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister, who emerged victorious in the general elections of 1952, 1957, and 1962. Following Narendra Modi, 35 other Cabinet Ministers took the oath of office on Sunday, including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, and Nitin Gadkari.

There are 3 distinct highlights of the Cabinet Ministers that have come to light:

1. Seven Women Ministers

There are seven women in the 72-member council of ministers in the third Narendra Modi government, including two who hold cabinet positions. This is four less than the council of ministers that will be leaving. Rashtrapati Bhavan hosted a lavish ceremony last evening to officially install Nirmala Sitharaman and Annpurna Devi as cabinet ministers.

While Ms Sitharaman, a member of the Rajya Sabha, has previously held high-profile positions in the defense and finance ministries, Annpurna Devi, a former member of parliament from Koderma, has been elevated from the post of minister of state to cabinet minister. In the previous administration, she served as the junior minister of education. The other women sworn in as ministers yesterday are Anupriya Patel, Raksha Khadse, Savitri Thakur, Shobha Karandlaje and Nimuben Bambhaniya.

2. Comparison

A strategic adjustment is evident when ministry representation and election outcomes are compared. The BJP and its allies won 73 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2014, and with 18 ministers, they made up 24.5% of the cabinet. The party won 64 seats in 2019, but only 13 ministers, or 20% of the government, were appointed. The UP increased their ministerial representation to 10 (or 28% of the cabinet) in 2024 despite only gaining 36 seats.

The revised ministerial distribution guarantees enough representation for all of the areas in Uttar Pradesh. With four ministers, West UP has the most representation, followed by Purvanchal (three ministers) and Awadh (Central UP) (two ministers). This regional distribution is a result of an attempt to preserve political harmony throughout the varied terrain of Uttar Pradesh.

3. Cast Balance

In order to meet the shifting political dynamics, Modi's new cabinet incorporates a variety of communities while maintaining a focus on caste balance. Two of the ministers in the cabinet are from the most backward classes, making up four of the OBC's members. Three ministers are from the upper castes, and two are from the Dalit community, notably from the Gadaria and Paswan communities. The absence of ministers from the Jatav and Harijan castes is noteworthy as it suggests a shift in their support away from the BJP.

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