Friday, June 14, 2024

Who are the heavyweights excluded from the new Narendra Modi ministry?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new Union Council of Ministers witnessed several high-profile exits, as the BJP leadership opted to drop faces like Smriti Irani, Anurag Thakur, and Parshottam Rupala from the previous ministry.

Among the seven cabinet ministers who were left out are:

  1. Arjun Munda: Minister of Tribal Affairs and Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  2. Parshottam Rupala: Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying
  3. Smriti Zubin Irani: Minister of Women and Child Development and Minister of Minority Affairs
  4. Narayan Tatu Rane: Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
  5. Raj Kumar Singh: Minister of Power and Minister of New and Renewable Energy
  6. Mahendra Nath Pandey: Minister of Heavy Industries
  7. Anurag Singh Thakur: Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports

Out of the seven, Munda, Irani, Pandey, and Singh lost Lok Sabha polls, while Rupala, Thakur, and Rane, despite winning, were not retained in the new cabinet. Several of the dropped ministers have previously made headlines for controversial remarks, particularly those perceived as anti-Muslim or anti-minority.

Smriti Irani, a high-profile leader who lost the Amethi seat to Congress veteran Kishori Lal Sharma, has been vocal in her political rhetoric, which often stirred controversy. As Minister of Minority Affairs, her tenure was marked by criticism from various minority groups who accused her of not adequately representing their interests. 

Anurag Thakur, who served as Minister of Information and Broadcasting, faced significant backlash for his genocidal slogans during a 2020 rally in Delhi. Thakur was caught on video encouraging a Hindutva crowd to chant “shoot the traitors,” a slogan directed at anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protestors. This incident led to widespread condemnation and was seen as a direct incitement of violence against Muslims during northeast Delhi pogrom, who were major participants in the anti-CAA protests.

Parshottam Rupala, who held the portfolio for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, also found himself in controversy. His remarks ahead of the elections were seen as derogatory towards the Kshatriya community, although he won his seat in Gujarat’s Rajkot with a record margin.

Narayan Tatu Rane, the MSME Minister, known for his aggressive political style, often made inflammatory statements, adding to the anti-Muslim tension. His exclusion from the new cabinet is viewed as an attempt to temper the aggressive rhetoric and address the broader concerns of inclusivity and communal harmony.

In addition to the cabinet ministers, thirty MoS have been excluded from the new lineup.

This includes:

  1. Kailash Choudhary: MoS in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
  2. Kapil Moreshwar Patil: MoS in the Ministry of Panchayati Raj
  3. Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan: MoS in the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying
  4. Faggansingh Kulaste: MoS in the Ministry of Steel
  5. Ashwini Kumar Choubey: MoS in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
  6. General (Retd.) VK Singh: MoS in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
  7. Danve Raosaheb Dadarao: MoS in the Rail Ministry
  8. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti: MoS in Ministry of Consumer Affairs
  9. Rajeev Chandrasekhar: MoS in Ministry of Skill Development

The new cabinet, comprising 30 cabinet ministers, five Ministers of State with independent charge, and 36 Ministers of State, represents a broad coalition within the NDA.

A total of 71 ministers were sworn into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet.

Of the sworn ministers, 60 are from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while the remaining 11 hail from various NDA allies, including 2 each from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Janata Dal (United) (JDU).

Amidst the high-profile exits, the BJP has strategically retained several key ministers from the previous tenure. Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, and S. Jaishankar have been retained as the cabinet ministers.

Other ministers who have been retained include Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Hardeep Singh Puri, Mansukh Mandaviya, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Dharmendra Pradhan, and Jyotiraditya Scindia, among others.

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