Prime Minister Narendra Modi Takes Charge, Ministers' Portfolios Now Official

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Takes Charge, Ministers' Portfolios Now Official

In this handout photograph released by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), Prime Minister Narendra Modi works on his desk at South Block after taking office in New Delhi on May 27, 2014

New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi left Gujarat Bhawan early on Tuesday morning for his South Block office, where he laid rose petals and bowed before a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi. He then sat at his table and signed papers.

His first tweet of the day was a tribute to India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who died on May 27, 50 years ago. (Track Live Updates)

The new Prime Minister had begun work soon after being sworn in on Monday evening, meeting senior officials of his government. He hasn't shifted yet to the official residence of the Prime Minister at 7 Race Course Road and will reportedly stay at the Gujarat Bhawan for a few more days. (PM Narendra Modi Yet to Move to Official Residence)

With his new External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj by his side, Mr Modi held a series of meetings through the day with the South Asian leaders who attended his oath ceremony at Delhi's Hyderabad House. He met Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Maldives President Yameen Gayoom, Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapaksa, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Mauritius PM Navin Ramgoolam, Nepal PM Sushil Koirala, Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif and Bangladesh Speaker Shirin Chaudhury. (On Narendra Modi's Day 1 as PM, Nawaz Sharif Among First Visitors)

This evening Mr Modi will hold the first meeting of his 45-member council of ministers, whose portfolios were formally announced this morning, many hours after they were sworn in along with the Prime Minister at a grand oath ceremony on Monday evening. Before that, he will also meet his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh.
(Narendra Modi's Council of Ministers: Complete List)

The delay in announcing portfolios meant a few false starts. Like Uma Bharti announcing her assignment - Waters resources and cleaning of the Ganga - on Twitter and then deleting her post and apologising for the faux pas.

While some new ministers refused to comment last night on their portfolios till the official word was in, others, like Prakash Javadekar, who will be both Information and Broadcasting Minister and Minister for Environment, defended the rationale behind being given two seemingly disparate assignments.

In Mr Modi's top four ministers are BJP chief Rajnath Singh, who is Home Minister and Number 2 in government. Last evening, he took oath immediately after Mr Modi. He was followed by Ms Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. Mr Jaitley will be Finance Minister and will also have additional charge of Defence. ( For Backing Modi as PM, Rajnath Singh Gets a Plum Posting )


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