Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with 57 Ministers, took oath of office at a grand swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday in the presence of 8,000 guests including world leaders, dignitaries, politicians, celebrities and industrialists.
PM Narendra Modi’s right hand man Amit Shah, the man accountable for BJP’s massive success by his party, has also been added to Modi’s cabinet for the tenure of 2019.
Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister in the previous government, had on Wednesday written to PM Modi that he wanted to opt out because of his poor health. Sushma Swaraj too, had cited her health for not contesting elections this time.
Women accounted for six out of the 58 berths, with three Cabinet nods for Nirmala Sitharaman, Harsimrat Badal of the Akali Dal and Smriti Irani.
Smriti Irani, who defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his family constituency of Amethi, is expected to hold the position of a big ministry.
Representation from Dalit communities included Thawarchand Gehlot, Ramdas Athawale, Ram Vilas Paswan, Ratan Lal Kataria and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.
“This team is a blend of youthful energy and administrative experience. It has people who have excelled as Parliamentarians and those who have had distinguished professional careers,” PM Modi tweeted.
Top opposition leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, and leaders from BIMSTEC countries were in the audience.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance returned to power with a massive haul of 352 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP won 303 seats on its own.
However, a few hours before the swearing-in ceremony commenced, Nitish Kumar, on of the key allies, said his party would not be a part of the government because the BJP’s offer of one cabinet berth was not acceptable. The BJP’s south ally AIADMK has also opted out.