• Monday, June 24, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Thirteen ministers in new Modi-led government from south India; 6 from Gujarat

More than a dozen parliamentarians from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu were inducted into the council of ministers led by Modi.

HD Kumaraswamy, a frontline leader from the southern Indian state of Karnataka (Photo: X/@hd_kumaraswam)

By: Vivek Mishra

MORE than a dozen parliamentarians from southern states and six MPs from Gujarat were inducted into Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s third-term government.

More than a dozen parliamentarians from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu were inducted on Sunday into the council of ministers led by Modi. This move rewards the BJP’s coalition partners in the southern states.

Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, BJP leaders Nirmala Sitharaman and Pralhad Joshi, who were part of the previous cabinet, took oath at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

Union minister of state in the previous Modi government, Shobha Karandlaje, and former minister in the state government V Somanna — both from BJP — were also sworn in. Sitharaman, Kumaraswamy, and Joshi were given Cabinet rank, while Karandlaje and Somanna were made ministers of state. Kumaraswamy, who has been given a minister post from NDA partner JD(S)’ quota, is from the dominant Vokkaliga community.

The NDA secured 19 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka, with BJP winning 17 and JD(S) 2. The ruling Congress in the state won nine seats. Two Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MPs — K Rammohan Naidu and Chandrasekhar Pemmasani — along with BJP’s Srinivasa Varma were inducted from Andhra Pradesh. Pemmasani is the richest minister in the 18th Lok Sabha.

From Kerala, Suresh Gopi, the lone BJP Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) MP in the state, and senior party leader George Kurian became ministers for the first time. Kurian’s inclusion, despite not being an MP, is seen as the BJP’s attempt to reach out to the Christian community. BJP leaders from Telangana — Kishan Reddy and Bandi Sanjay Kumar — were also included in the Modi 3.0 government. From Tamil Nadu, L Murugan was included as minister of state in the new government.

Gujarat’s representation drops to 6

The number of Gujarat MPs in Modi’s third government has decreased to six compared to seven in the second term. Amit Shah, Mansukh Mandaviya, and S Jaishankar were sworn in as cabinet ministers for the second consecutive time on Sunday.

The new entrants from Gujarat are state BJP chief and Navsari MP CR Paatil, party president and Rajya Sabha member JP Nadda, and Bhavnagar MP Nimuben Bambhaniya. Shah and Mandaviya are Lok Sabha members, while Jaishankar is a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat.

Rajkot MP Parshottam Rupala, a minister in the previous government, has been dropped this time. He was involved in a controversy over a remark that angered the Khastriya/Rajput community during the Lok Sabha poll campaign. Rupala, a three-term Rajya Sabha member, served as a minister in both previous Modi governments. He was the union minister of state for agriculture, farmers’ welfare, and panchayati raj between 2016 and 2021. From July 2021, he was Union minister of fisheries, animal husbandry, and dairying.

Devusinh Chauhan, MP from Kheda, was also dropped this time. He had previously served as the Union MoS for communication. Mahendra Munjpara, who served as the MoS for women and child development in the previous government, was not given a ticket by the party to contest the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Darshana Jardosh, who was the MoS for railways and textiles in the second Modi government, did not contest the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

(PTI)

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