- Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Maneka Gandhi not in the new cabinet
- Rajyavardhan Rathore, Suresh Prabhu, Jayant Sinha, KJ Alphons too not in
- PM Modi and his new team of ministers took oath on Thursday
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet were sworn in on Thursday by President Ram Nath Kovind, 37 ministers - including several high-profile names - from the previous government were left out of the line-up.
Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who said he had faced "some serious health challenges" in the last 18 months, had written to PM Modi that he will "not be part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government". Mr Jaitley, a lawyer-turned politician, has always been among the BJP's chief troubleshooters. In the past five years, he has steered major economic legislation and has also defended controversial policies for the government. PM Modi had given Mr Jaitley charge of three ministries when he first took office in 2014 -- finance, defence and information and broadcasting. The 66-year-old's health issues became worse after he had a kidney transplant in May last year. A diabetic, Arun Jaitley also had to skip the interim budget in February when he was in hospital in the US for treatment.
Sushma Swaraj, who was External Affairs minister in the previous government, was seen taking a seat in the audience at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's oath ceremony on Thursday, an indication that the veteran leader will sit out of a BJP government for the first time. The 67-year-old was one of the most popular ministers on social media and was acknowledged for her quick response to SOS and calls for assistance on Twitter. Even banal or joking requests drew a response from Sushma Swaraj.
Olympian Rajyavardhan Rathore is one of the most prominent exclusions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, which has a mix of old and new faces. The 49-year-old did not receive the crucial phone-call that was all the confirmation that anyone needed on whether they had made it. Later, he was seen sitting in the audience rather than with the ministerial picks waiting to take oath after PM Modi. Rajyavardhan Rathore, a former Colonel in the army, is a BJP parliamentarian from Rajasthan who won a second term.
Maneka Gandhi will be the pro-tem or interim Speaker of the Lok Sabha instead of minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new government. The 62-year-old BJP leader has been a minister in four governments and was Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development in the last cabinet. As pro-tem Speaker, she will administer the oath of office to the newly elected Lok Sabha MPs and also preside over the first meeting of the Lok Sabha, in which the Speaker will be elected.
Uma Bharti had announced late last year that she will not contest Lok Sabha elections, saying that she wanted to devote her time to the national mission to clean the Ganga River and the Ram Temple at Ayodhya. The 59-year-old saffron-clad BJP leader was the Cabinet Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation in the previous government. She had been divested of the prime Ganga rejuvenation and water resources portfolios in a cabinet reshuffle in 2017. Her ministry anchored the Namami Gange -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hugely ambitious programme to clean up the river Ganga that was seen as making slow progress. She had also been appointed a vice president of the BJP earlier this year.
Suresh Prabhu, the Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, has also not made it to the list of new ministers sworn-in on Thursday. The 65-year-old leader, who switched from the Shiv Sena to the BJP in 2014, has also been Railways Minister in the past. Generally soft-spoken and low-profile, Suresh Prabhu has a reputation for being pro-reform, dynamic, an original thinker and scrupulously honest. He is a four-time member of Parliament from the Rajapur constituency in Maharashtra. He is currently a Rajya Sabha member from Andhra Pradesh.
Radha Mohan Singh
Radha Mohan Singh, the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in the previous government, has been dropped from the cabinet this time. Fielded from Bihar's Purvi Champaran in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Radha Mohan Singh defeated his RJD rival Aakash Singh by a margin of nearly 3 lakh votes. However, his tenure as minister had been marked by a number of huge protests by farmers.
Alphons Kannanthanam, the Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), has not made it to the list of new ministers sworn in on Thursday. The 65-year-old faced a crushing defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Kerala's Ernakulam, coming in third behind Congress's Hibi Eden and CPI(M) candidate P Rajeev.
Jayant Sinha, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation in the previous government, did not get a cabinet berth this time. When he first took office in 2014, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Delhi) and Harvard Business School alumnus had been given charge as Minister of State in the Finance Ministry. Then, three years ago, he was transferred to the aviation ministry. Jayant Sinha's father Yashwant Sinha is a former BJP leader who has lately been a vocal critic of the party's policies. The 56-year-old was elected to the Lok Sabha for the second time from Jharkhand's Hazaribagh.
Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, is also among the ministers who did not make it to the union cabinet this time. A Rajya Sabha member from Himachal Pradesh, he has also been a minister in the Himachal Pradesh government.
Vijay Goel, the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Statistic and Implementation, has not made it to the new council of ministers.
Other ministers who did not make it to the Prime Minister's new team include Mahesh Sharma, SS Ahluwalia, Ramesh Jigajinagi, Ram Kripal Yadav, Anant Kumar Hegde, Anupriya Patel and Satya Pal Singh.
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