Amit Shah, Jaishankar among first-timers in PM Modi’s council of ministers

There are 19 first-time ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 58-member council of ministers. Six of the first-timers consisting BJP president Amit Shah, former foreign secretary S Jaishankar and former Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank made it to the cabinet.

Jaishankar, a surprise pick in Narendra Modi’s council of ministers, is one of India’s leading strategic analysts, He was a point member of the Indian team which negotiated the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal. A seasoned diplomat, Jaishankar was the Indian government’s pointsman for China and the US.

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had won the Haridwar Lok Sabha seat. His appointment as a Cabinet minister marks the end of an eight-year political wilderness.

Former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda, a second-time Lok Sabha MP from Khunti in Jharkhand, also took oath as a Union minister for the first time.

Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena who beat Congress’s Mumbai chief Milind Deora also got his first ministerial berth in the Cabinet.

Two four-time MPs from Karnataka – Suresh Angadi from Belgaum and Pralhad Joshi from Dharwad also made it to the council of ministers.

Angadi is a four-time MP and has a wide range of interests in sugar and education. In 2017, he had criticized the lack of a Lingayat in the Union cabinet after a reshuffle in which the lone Lingayat representative, GM Siddeshwar, was shunted out.

Prahalad Joshi who also made it to the Cabinet was overlooked in the previous cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government in favor of two other Brahmin leaders from Karnataka. With Ananth Kumar and Anantkumar Hegde making the cut, Joshi appeared to be low down the pecking order.

BJP MP, Rattan Lal Kataria who won the Ambala Lok Sabha seat defeating Kumari Selja of the Congress was also sworn in as a minister.

G Kishan Reddy BJP MP from Secunderabad in Telangana is also a first time minister.

Rameshwar Teli who was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from Assam’s Dibrugarh constituency also took oath as a central minister for the first time.

Kailash Chowdhary a farmer leader who defeated influential Congress leader Manvendra Singh in Rajasthan’s Barmer and Pratap Chandra Sarangi, BJP MP from Balasore in Odisha were also sworn in as ministers.

Deboshree Chaudhary who won from Raiganj Bengal in the BJP’s stunning show in the state was also sworn in as a minister.

Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre BJP MP from Akola in Maharashtra was also sworn in as a minister for the first time.


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