Amit Shah, Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Piyush Goyal among 30 Cabinet ministers of Modi government

30 people who took oath as Cabinet Ministers include leaders from not just the BJP but also other constituents of the NDA alliance.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 09, 2024 | 10:39 PM Updated Jun 09, 2024 | 10:57 PM

30 Cabinet Ministers take oath with PM Modi

As Narendra Modi on Sunday, 9 June, took oath as the Prime Minister of India, heralding his third term at the post, 30 Cabinet ministers and 41 ministers were also sworn in.

They included leaders not only from the BJP but also other constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and saw the attendance of several celebrities and leaders of foreign countries. Here’s a look at important MPs who were sworn into the Cabinet.

Amit Shah – an astute politician and master strategist

Recognised for his political acumen and strategic prowess, senior BJP leader Amit Shah has played a pivotal role in the phenomenal growth of the saffron party which helped it to cross the 300-seat mark in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Known as the second most influential figure in the country after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a person dedicated to the saffron ideology, 59-year-old Shah rose as the BJP’s master organiser when its alliance secured 73 seats from Uttar Pradesh in 2014 under his leadership as the party’s general secretary.

Nitin Gadkari – a go-getter and man behind India’s mega push to road infrastructure

Senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari, popularly referred to as the ‘Highway Man of India’, is known to be a go-getter in whatever work he undertakes. The 67-year-old leader from Nagpur in Maharashtra has been the longest-serving Minister for Road Transport & Highways as he held the portfolio in the last two governments led by Narendra Modi.

Gadkari is credited with the construction of more than 90,000 km of national highways and 30,000 km of new roads in the country in the last 10 years. In an interview with PTI earlier this year, the senior BJP leader said he wants to help people even in the smallest possible way and keep working for them to bring about a positive change in their lives.

Also Read: From Karnataka CM to Cabinet Minister in Modi government: JD(S)’ HD Kumaraswamy’s political profile

Rajnath – a quintessential grassroots leader from Uttar Pradesh

A strategist and a quintessential political leader with grassroots connections, Rajnath Singh is credited with expanding the BJP’s organisational network in the Hindi heartland state of Uttar Pradesh in the 1990s and the subsequent decades.

Hailing from the Chandauli district of the politically crucial state, Singh is known as a moderate face and is widely respected by leaders cutting across party lines. The 72-year-old Singh, whose illustrious political career spanned over five decades, on Sunday took oath as a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet.

Jaishankar crafted an assertive foreign policy approach

When S Jaishankar became India’s MEA in May 2019, he was largely considered a political lightweight despite his undisputed mastery over foreign policy. In the course of the last five years, he has not only managed to shed that perception but confidently established himself as someone who shaped an assertive foreign policy navigating various geo-political challenges.

The 69-year-old Jaishankar, whose illustrious diplomatic career spanned four decades, on Sunday took oath as a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet. If he retains the EAM portfolio, his immediate focus area would remain three-fold: the challenges arising out of China’s bullying tactics along the frontier, protecting India’s interest given the ongoing situation in West Asia and the conflict in Ukraine.

Also Read: CWC asks Rahul to take on Leader of Opposition mantle in Lok Sabha; Will decide ‘very soon’, he says

Piyush Goyal returns as Union minister in new avatar 

Piyush Goyal, who handled key ministries including Commerce and Industry in the second Modi government, won his debut Lok Sabha poll from the Mumbai North constituency with an impressive vote margin. Goyal, 59, was a Rajya Sabha member since 2010, eloquently articulated the government’s position on different occasions during debates on various issues in the Upper House of Parliament.

Before the polls, Goyal hit out at the opposition leaders for labelling him an outsider and said he was born in Mumbai, studied in the HR College and Government Law College, started his Chartered Accountancy practice in Lalbaug and worked as an investment banker on Nepean Sea Road.

Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan’: Nitish Kumar’s close aide 

Senior JD(U) leader Rajiv Ranjan popularly known as Lalan Singh, who was inducted as a minister in the Narendra Modi government on Sunday, has been among Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s closest aides for many years. This Bhumihar leader has always been party supremo Kumar’s strength, as this caste in Bihar is known to have wide political influence despite its small size.

Lalan was instrumental in stitching the JD(U)-RJD alliance in 2022. According to political observers, though Yadavs and Muslims are the traditional support bases of the RJD in certain areas of Munger, Jamalpur and Lahkisarai, Bhumihars and other upper-caste groups have been supporting Singh for the last several years.

Also Read: PM Modi set to put faith in experience in picking ministers, allies bring fresh faces

Jitan Ram Manjhi”s perseverance pays off

Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) founder Jitan Ram Manjhi, who has been a formidable force in Bihar’s political arena, was made a central minister on Sunday. Manjhi’s rise has been nothing short of extraordinary. Since 2014, he has relentlessly pursued the Gaya Lok Sabha seat, facing one crushing defeat after another before finally wresting the seat this time.

In 2014, he finished third while contesting as a JD(U) candidate. Undeterred, he tried again in 2019 under the HAM(S) banner, only to suffer a staggering loss to the JD(U). But this time, his perseverance paid off as he finally clinched the coveted seat. Now, at nearly 80 years old, Manjhi stands triumphant, defying the odds once again.

Pradhan returns to LS after decade, joins Modi cabinet

About a fortnight shy of his 56th birthday, Dharmendra Pradhan, the towering figure of Odisha BJP, staged a triumphant return to the Union Cabinet on Sunday. His re-entry into the hallowed halls of power under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aegis is not merely a routine reshuffle but a spectacle of political theatre as he became the lone warrior from Odisha to take oath as a Union minister for the third time.

Son of a doctor and former Union minister Debendra Pradhan, Dharmendra was born on 26 June 1969 and gained the fame of being known as the ‘Ujjwala Man’ across the country. During his tenure as a Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Pradhan was instrumental in making Modi’s PM Ujjwala Yojana successful under which the poor women were given free of cost cooking gas cylinders.

Sarbananda Sonowal’s journey from student leader to three-time minister 

Assam MP Sarbananda Sonowal, a fire-brand student leader who battled odds to become Chief Minister, was on Sunday inducted into the Narendra Modi-led cabinet for the third time. Sonowal was the Minister of State for Sports & Youth Welfare for two years from 2014, as the northeast’s sole representative in the Union Council of Ministers, before he scripted BJP’s historic win in Assam to become the CM, only to relinquish the post and become a cabinet minister in the Modi 2.0 government in 2021.

His tenure faced its toughest test during the widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), with his former allies from the All Assam Students Union (AASU) accusing him of failing to protect the interests of the indigenous populace. Sonowal, 62, was accused of failing to convince the BJP government at the Centre to not bring the Bill to Parliament, which they claimed compromised the interests of the indigenous population.

Also Read: Congress’ poor show in Telangana Lok Sabha polls: Did BJP beat the party in appropriating BRS votes?

Dalit veteran Virendra Kumar sworn in as Union minister

Lok Sabha MP from Tikamgarh (SC reserved) seat in Madhya Pradesh Virendra Kumar was on Sunday inducted into the Narendra Modi government. Virendra Kumar, a prominent Scheduled Caste face of the party and eight-time MP, won his fourth consecutive election from Tikamgarh (SC) seat, which was carved out in the 2008 delimitation process. Earlier, he represented neighbouring Sagar Lok Sabha seat of Bundelkhand four times.

He started working at a young age with his father at a cycle puncture repairing shop in Sagar, before going on to earn a Ph.D in the subject of child labour. He was made women and child development minister for the first time in September 2017. Kumar (70) is known for not forgetting his humble background and can often be seen riding his scooter and also chatting with those who repair tyre punctures. He was jailed for 16 months during the Emergency and also took part in the ‘Sampoorna Kranti Andolan’ of ‘Lok Nayak’ Jai Prakash Narayan.

From RSS pracharak to Union Minister, former Haryana CM Khattar 

From being an RSS worker once to being hand-picked as chief minister in 2014 to being replaced with his confidante ten years later, 70-year-old Manohar Lal Khattar has seen it all.

He joined the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh as a permanent member in 1977 and stayed with it for 17 years before he was made a member of the BJP in 1994.

In 2014, he became the MLA for the first time and was tapped to become the chief minister of Haryana by the BJP. Ten years later, in March 2024, he was replaced by his confidante Nayab Singh Saini, to allow him a chance to become a Member of Parliament.

Contesting his first Lok Sabha polls from Karnal, Khattar defeated Congress’s Divyanshu Budhiraja by an impressive margin of over 2.35 lakh votes.

Sworn into the fresh Union Cabinet on Sunday, the BJP veteran now is set to begin his new innings as a parliamentarian and a Union Minister.

‘Ujjwala man’ Dharmendra Pradhan 

Senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan, who was the education and skill development minister in the last Modi government, was inducted in the Union cabinet for the third time on Sunday.

Pradhan, who returns to the Lok Sabha after 15 years, won from Sambalpur in Odisha, defeating the Biju Janata Dal’s Pranab Prakash Das by a substantial margin of over 1.19 lakh votes.

Related: From Karnataka CM to Cabinet Minister in Modi government: JD(S)’ HD Kumaraswamy’s political profile

Ex-Congress stalwart Jyotiraditya Scindia

Jyotiraditya Scindia’s induction into the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led council of ministers has cemented his importance in the BJP setup since he quit the Congress four years ago, marking the beginning of his second stint in the cabinet as a saffron party leader.

In the 2024 general elections, Scindia, 53, secured a landslide victory from his traditional Guna seat, contesting as a BJP candidate for the first time, with a record margin of over 5 lakh votes.

The BJP has won all 29 constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, also wresting the Chhindwara seat, the last stronghold of Congress from the Kamal Nath family, which it had failed to win in 2019.

On Sunday, Scindia was sworn in as a Cabinet minister in the Narendra Modi 3.0 government.

Vaishnaw joins the Union Cabinet again

Bureaucrat-turned-politician Ashwini Vaishnaw, who was known for his efforts for the railway sector reforms and establishment of the public-private partnership model in infrastructure projects, was inducted into the Union Cabinet again on Sunday.

The 53-year-old Rajya Sabha member from Odisha was appointed as deputy secretary in the office of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2002 when the BJP had an alliance with the BJD.

Annapurna Devi: From homemaker to central minister

Politics was never on the cards for homemaker Annapurna Devi, who was sworn in as Union Minister in the Narendra Modi government on Sunday.

Her life took a dramatic turn when her husband, Ramesh Yadav, an RJD legislator, died suddenly in 1998.

Thrust into the political arena by fate, she embarked on an arduous journey down an untrodden path.

Now, she has secured a seat in the Modi 3.0 government, a move seen as the BJP’s bold strategy to consolidate a sizable OBC vote bank ahead of the crucial Assembly elections later this year.

Hardeep Singh Puri – face of India’s oil diplomacy

Hardeep Singh Puri, the former diplomat who displayed unflinching altruism in driving from the background the construction of new Parliament and navigating India through two back-to-back oil crises, seems to have been rewarded for scam-free tenure in ministries otherwise considered minefields.

Puri, 72, a minister for housing and urban affairs and petroleum and natural gas in the outgoing Modi 2.0 government, was among the ministers sworn in on Sunday in Modi’s new administration.

Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil, known for his record LS victory margins

Gujarat BJP president Chandrakant Raghunath Paatil, who steered the party to a record win in the state Assembly polls in 2022 and has earned plaudits for his stellar victory margins in Lok Sabha polls, was inducted into the Narendra Modi government on Sunday.

Paatil, who won his fourth term as MP from Navsari in south Gujarat, won the 2019 polls with a record margin of 6.89 lakh votes, only to better it in 2024 with a victory by 7.73 lakh votes. In the 2014 polls, his victory margin was a record in Gujarat and the third highest in the country.

Giriraj Singh’s rise to power

Senior Bihar BJP MP Giriraj Singh, known for his fiery rhetoric and controversial remarks, has consistently stirred the pot with his unabashed Hindutva stance.

A Bhumihar by caste, Singh has clinched the Begusarai Lok Sabha seat for the second consecutive term, solidifying his dominance in the region. He was sworn in as a minister in the Narendra Modi government on Sunday.

Before his ascent to the central government, Singh made waves in the Bihar government, serving as Co-Operative Minister from 2005 to 2010 and as Animal Husbandry Minister from 2010 to 2013. Each role he undertook added a new chapter to his tumultuous and riveting political saga, solidifying his reputation as a fearless and unyielding leader in Bihar politics.

Also Read: Chandrababu Naidu, the king maker and his tryst with BJP-led NDA

Chirag Paswan solidifies status as ‘real’ political heir of father Ram Vilas

Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan has solidified his status as the “real” political heir of his father, Ram Vilas Paswan. In a stunning turn of events, Chirag was inducted into the Narendra Modi government on Sunday, marking a remarkable comeback in Bihar’s turbulent political landscape.

Chirag’s meteoric rise came by winning all five Lok Sabha seats allocated to the party in the NDA alliance in the recent elections, maintaining the party’s 100 per cent strike rate. This sensational success has catapulted him as the new Dalit icon in Bihar politics, overshadowing many seasoned politicians.

Kiren Rijiu: From modest beginnings to landing another cabinet berth

The political career of Kiren Rijiju, who was inducted into the Union cabinet on Sunday, is a riveting story of tenacity, commitment and leadership.

Rijiju first entered politics in 2004 and won a seat in the 14th Lok Sabha, representing the Arunachal West constituency. During his term, he showed a strong attention to the interests of his citizens and a commitment to enhancing government and infrastructure.

His perseverance was evident when he joined the Congress and acted as an advisor to former chief minister Dorjee Khandu, despite a setback in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

With his comeback to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rijiju’s career entered a new phase.

Re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 2014, he profited from the strategic northeast focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and emerged as a key player in the ‘Look East’ policy. His role as an important representative for Arunachal Pradesh was further cemented by his re-election in 2019.

Odisha’s tribal face Jual Oram

Veteran BJP leader Jual Oram, who stands as a beacon of tribal leadership in Odisha, was inducted into the Narendra Modi 3.0 government on Sunday as a central minister.

The 63-year-old leader, hailing from Odisha’s Sundargarh district, holds the distinction of being the country’s first tribal affairs minister, following the establishment of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs under the leadership of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Shripad Naik – six-time MP from Goa

BJP veteran Shripad Naik, known for his simple lifestyle, enjoys an overwhelming support of his party cadre and voters, reflected in his six consecutive victories from the North Goa Lok Sabha seat.

The 71-year-old politician, who served as a minister in the last two governments led by Narendra Modi, suffered injuries in a road accident in neighbouring Karnataka in January 2021, in which he lost his wife and a personal assistant.

He underwent multiple surgeries and recovered, regaining the zest for life and later resumed his duties as the minister of state in the central government.

In the last Modi government, Naik was the Minister of State for Tourism as well as Ports, Shipping and Waterways since 2021.

Also Read: Congress’ poor show in Telangana Lok Sabha polls: Did BJP beat the party in appropriating BRS votes?

Mandaviya, who rose to prominence during Covid peak

BJP grassroots worker Mansukh Mandaviya who rose through the party ranks to become the Union health minister during the Covid peak was inducted into the Union Cabinet for the second time on Sunday.

Fighting the Lok Sabha elections for the first time after being a Rajya Sabha member for two terms, Mandaviya won from Porbandar in Gujarat defeating Congress’ Lalit Vasoya by a margin of more than 3.8 lakh votes.

Known as “Green MP” for his penchant for cycling to Parliament, Mandaviya, 51, has been steadily rising through the party ranks ever since he associated with the BJP as a youth.

In the Modi government 2.0, he led the ministries of health and chemicals and fertilisers.

Nityanand Rai: Amit Shah’s ‘jigree dost’

BJP MP Nityanand Rai, who was inducted in the Narendra Modi 3.0 government on Sunday, has emerged as the BJP’s Yadav face in Bihar over the years.

Rai, whom senior BJP leader Amit Shah calls his “jigree dost” (close friend), could even emerge as a leading contender for the chief minister’s chair in Bihar in the coming years, political pundits believe.

The BJP promoted him as a Yadav face in Bihar in a bid to counter RJD’s traditional Yadav vote base and had given him responsibility as state president of the party in 2016.

Efficient taskmaster J-K’s Jitendra Singh

From Jammu and Kashmir politics to the power corridors of Delhi, BJP leader Jitendra Singh is a familiar face known as an efficient task master, besides being one of the trustworthy members of the past two governments headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Popularly known as “Dr Sahab”, Singh held multiple portfolios, including the minister of state (MoS) in the all-powerful Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the last decade — in both Modi 1.0 and 2.0.

He was administered the oath as the minister of state (independent charge) by President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Sunday. Modi was also sworn in as the Prime Minister for the third consecutive tenure.

Sanjay Seth: From fiery student leader to central minister

Businessman and politician Sanjay Seth from Ranchi, who has led an extraordinarily eventful career, was sworn in as a minister in the Narendra Modi government on Sunday.

He began his political journey as a fiery student leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad in 1976 and became a parliamentarian in 2019.

In 2019, the BJP leader became a first-time MP from Ranchi, defeating Congress’s Subodh Kant Sahay.

For the second consecutive term, Seth retained the Ranchi seat by defeating Congress’s Yashaswini Sahay, daughter of Subodh Kant Sahay.

CAA push gives Matua leader Shantanu Thakur second term in Modi govt

Shantanu Thakur, a second-time BJP MP from West Bengal’s Bangaon Lok Sabha constituency and a leading figure of the backward Matua community in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, was inducted into the Union cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday.

Thakur has been a strong advocate of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) since 2019, asserting it would grant “legal citizenship” to members of the Matua community.

Related: Will honestly fulfil expectations of leadership: V Somanna on being chosen for PM Modi’s Cabinet

Rao Inderjit Singh: Gurgaon stalwart with an unflinching pulse on electorate

Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh has been a stalwart of southern Haryana and has been a representative from the region’s predominant Ahir community.

Having been elected as Lok Sabha MP for the sixth term now — his third as a BJP member -–, Singh over the years has enjoyed unflinching support of Ahirs.

Singh retained Gurgaon seat in the recently concluded general election when he defeated his nearest rival Raj Babbar of the Congress by a margin of more than 75,000 votes.

Bharat Ratna recipient Karpoori Thakur’s son Ram Nath becomes central minister

JD(U)’s two-time Rajya Sabha MP, Ram Nath Thakur, the son of socialist icon and Bharat Ratna recipient Karpoori Thakur, is credited for carrying forward the movement initiated by Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan and Jan Nayak Karpoori Thakur for empowering the underprivileged.

Thakur is a popular leader among the extremely backward and backward classes in Bihar. He comes from the ‘Nai’ (barber) community that forms around 1.60 per cent of the population in the state.

Ex-Panchayat leader Tokhan Sahu pips BJP stalwarts from Chhattisgarh to become Minister of State

Tokhan Sahu, a first-time Member of Parliament and a surprise addition to Narendra Modi’s new cabinet, has been active in politics for the past three decades, though he has maintained a low profile throughout his career.

Sahu’s political journey began in the early 1990s as a village panchayat representative. His rise to a Union minister’s position has been unexpected, especially with the availability of other prominent leaders like Brijmohan Agrawal, Vijay Baghel, and Santosh Pandey from Chhattisgarh.

Sahu took oath as a Minister of State in the Union cabinet on Sunday.

Rajya Sabha MP B L Verma sworn in as minister in Modi govt 3.0

Rajya Sabha member B L Verma, who took oath as a Union minister of state for the second time, started his political innings as a common worker of the BJP. He was sworn in as a minister in the new NDA government on Sunday.

Verma, who hails from the extremely backward Lodh community in Uttar Pradesh’s Budaun district, entered politics after being influenced by former state chief minister, the late, Kalyan Singh.

(Edited by Neena with PTI inputs)