Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expanded his council of ministers inducting 21 new faces, keeping in view of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s political calculations in the states and balancing the regional aspirations. Although there was an attempt to get more representation from its allies, its oldest and key partner Shiv Sena did a last-minute pull out and boycotted the swearing-in ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The strength of Modi’s cabinet, which was promised to be kept in minimum and focus on maximum governance, is now 66.
Despite Shiv Sena’s boycott of the function, its leader Suresh Prabhu, who was a minister in the previous NDA government took oath as a cabinet minister. BJP sources said Prabhu, who enjoys the confidence of the PM, has been given the ministerial berth from the BJP’s quota.Prabhu has joined the BJP on Sunday morning Manohar Parrikar, who has resigned as Goa Chief Minister on Saturday, senior BJP leader J P Nadda and Choudhury Birendra Sing, a prominent Jat leader who has joined the BJP from the Congress just ahead of the Lok Sabha election, were sworn in as cabinet ministers.
Senior party leader Bandaru Dattatreya, first leader from Telangana after it became a separate state, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, BJP general secretary and an MP from Bihar and Mahesh Sharma, Gautam Buddh Nagar MP and a doctor by profession have taken oath Ministers of State (Independent charge). Mukhtar Abbaz Naqvi, one of the two front row Muslim leaders of the BJP has been inducted into the council of ministers.