This Article is From Jul 07, 2021

PM Modi's Big Cabinet Overhaul: Your 10-Point Guide

The exits of Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Environment and Information Minister Prakash Javadekar left many commentators stumped.

PM Modi's Big Cabinet Overhaul: Your 10-Point Guide

PM Modi's new council of ministers has 78 members, three short of the limit.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a new council of ministers on Wednesday with unexpected high-profile exits and expected bump-ups for politically meaningful sections in a huge push to revive his government's flagging popularity before key polls.

Here is your 10-point guide to this big story:

  1. Putting his famous "minimum government, maximum governance" proclamation under strain, PM Modi's council of ministers swelled to its biggest size in years with 36 new faces, pink slips for a dozen ministers, and promotions for seven of them.

  2. Just three short of the limit at 78 up from 52, the council of ministers will include 30 cabinet members - up from 21, 45 Ministers of State up from 23 and two Ministers of State with Independent Charge, down from nine.

  3. Mansukh Mandaviya will be the new Health Minister, BJP's new recruit Jyotiraditya Scindia will get Civil Aviation, Ashwini Vaishnaw will be Railways Minister, Kiren Rijiju will be the new Law Minister and Anurag Thakur has got Information And Broadcasting as well as Sports.

  4. Home Minister Amit Shah will head the newly formed Ministry of Co-Operation, while others like Piyush Goyal and Smriti Irani will retain Commerce and Women and Child Development Ministries respectively. TV-debate regular Meenakshi Lekhi will be Minister of State in External Affairs and the Culture Ministry.

  5. The Ministry of Medium and Small Enterprises has been moved from Nitin Gadkari to Narayan Rane while Bhupender Yadav from Rajasthan has been made the Minister for Environment and Labour.

  6. The reshuffle includes promotions for junior ministers Anurag Thakur and Kiren Rijiju to cabinet ranks. It accommodates former Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, asked to step down after state elections, and Pashupati Kumar Paras, brother of the late Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan.

  7. With elections due in key states like Uttar Pradesh soon, the BJP hard sold the roots of the new ministers going into minute detail about their caste. Several members of backward sections and women have been given representation in the new cabinet, the party said.

  8. Among the exits that few pundits could explain were those of Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Environment and Information Minister Prakash Javadekar - some of the government's loudest defenders on public forums.

  9. Less surprising was the exit of Health Minister Harsh Vardhan - dubbed the fall guy for the government's widely-criticised handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and Junior Environment Minister Babul Supriyo were also dumped.

  10. The reset showcases the government's efforts at reviving its popularity, dented by several factors including the COVID-19 crisis, soaring prices, the months-long farmers' protest and resentment among several sections.

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