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PM Modi Rejigs Cabinet; Sonowal, Scindia Brought in; 12 Ministers out

A total of 36 new ministers took oath on Wednesday evening, increasing the total tally of ministers to 77.
Cabinet Finale

New Delhi, July 7: A total of 36 new ministers – 77 in all – took oath as Union ministers on Wednesday with the promised "minimum government" not exactly so at the moment – seven ministers were also promoted.

Effecting a big reset, Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought in Sarbananda Sonowal, Narayan Rane and Jyotiraditya Scindia as Cabinet ministers while dropping as many as 12 ministers including Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Rane, 69, a Rajya Sabha MP and a former Maharashtra chief minister, was the first to take oath.

After Rane, Sonowal, former Assam chief minister, took the oath in English. The 58-year-old leader has earlier served as Union Minister of State (Independent charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; and Sports and Youth Affairs under Prime Minister Modi

Congress-turned-BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, a Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh, also took oath as a Cabinet minister. The 50-year-old leader has been Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and Union Minister of State for Commerce & Communications in the earlier UPA government.

Lok Sabha MP from Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh Virendra Kumar, Rajya Sabha MP from Odisha Ashwini Vaishnaw, Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar and JD(U) leader R.C.P Singh, Lok Sabha MP from Bihar's Hajipur Pashupati Kumar Paras, were also sworn-in as Cabinet ministers.

Kiren Rijiju, R.K. Singh, Hardeep Singh Puri, Mansukh Mandaviya, Parshottam Rupala, G Kishan Reddy and Anurag Thakur were elevated to the Cabinet level.

Bhupendra Yadav, who has been serving in the BJP organisation as a general secretary, was also sworn-in as a Cabinet minister.

Earlier, four senior Union ministers – Prasad, Javadekar, Vardhan, Pokhriyal – were among 12 ministers who resigned on Wednesday ahead of the cabinet reshuffle.

Besides these four, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar, Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Debasree Chaudhuri, Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria and Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo also resigned.

Prasad and Javadekar had also been the face of Cabinet briefings, announcing key Cabinet decisions on several occasions in the past few years.

This is the first reshuffle in the Council of Ministers by Prime Minister Modi since he assumed charge for a second term in May 2019.

With this reset, Modi has brought in young faces and has also given representation to various social groups and regions in the reshuffle.

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