New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The Modi government sworn in on Thursday has 20 first-time union ministers including BJP chief Amit Shah, fomer Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and two former chief ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank Aand Arjun Munda.
Shah has joined the ministry after leading the BJP to a string of election victories.
Jaishankar, one of the longest serving foreign secretaries, played a key role in shaping Modi’s foreign policy during his first term, which saw a significant growth and expansion of India’s ties with key countries, particularly the US and the Arab nations.
He was the Foreign Secretary from January 2015 to January 2018.
Nishank again won from Haridwar Lok Sabha seat and his inclusion gives representation to Uttarakhand in the Union Council of Ministers.
Former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda had played a role in BJP’s growth in the state and has won the Lok Sabha poll from Khunti.
Pratap Chandra Sarangi, BJP MP from Balasore in Odisha, received the loudest applause as he took oath as a minister. He is known for a simple lifestyle and using bicycle as a mode of transport.
With J.P. Nadda not part of the council of ministers, Anurag Thakur, apart MP from Hamirpur and son of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, will represent Himachal Pradesh in the cabinet. He has been made a minister of state.
The BJP won 25 of 28 seats in Karnataka despite a Congress-JD(S) alliance and two senior party MPs from the state have made it the council of minsters for the first time – Suresh Angadi from Belgaum and Pralhad Joshi from Dharwad.
BJP MP from Secunderabad in Telangana G. Kishan Reddy is also a first-time minister.
Kailash Chowdhary, who defeated former Union minister Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh in Barmer, was also sworn in as a minister.
Rattan Lal Kataria’s name has been a surprise inclusion in the list.A Kataria defeated former union minister Kumari Selja in Ambala.
Giving greater representation to West Bengal where the BJP recorded a very impressive performance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inducted Debosree Chaudhary, party MP from Raiganj, as a minister of state.
Other new ministers include Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai, Rameshwar Teli, who has been re-elected Assam, Renuka Singh Saruta, BJP MP from Sarguja in Chhattisgarh, Som Parkash and former IAS officer who has been elected from Hoshiarpur in Punjab. From Maharashtra, Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, BJP MP from Akola, has been inducted.
Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant, who defeated Congress leader Milind Deora, also got a ministerial berth in the Cabinet as a first time minister.
From Kerala, the V. Muraleedharan has been inducted in the council of ministers.
Five of the first timers are cabinet ministers and the remaining are ministers of state.