New Delhi, September 3: To streamline government performance and gearing up for the general elections scheduled for 2019, PM Modi third time reshuffled her cabinet on Sunday. Nine new ministers including former IFS officer Hardeep Puri, former Mumbai Police chief Satyapal Singh and former IAS officer Alphons Kannanthanam is inducted into the Union Council of Ministers.
The President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office and secrecy at a ceremony held in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Four Union Ministers got promoted in new Cabinet team. They are Minister of state for Commerce and Industries Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State For Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
However, it is not yet known which of these nine new ministers will be given Cabinet posts and which will be allotted ministers of state. It is said Prime Minister has selected the nine names to reinforce his team with the power of 4P -passion, proficiency, professionalism, and political acumen for country's progress.
Union ministers Kalraj Mishra, Bandaru Dattatreya, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sanjiv Kumar Balyan, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahndra Nath Pandey had resigned yesterday ahead of the reshuffle.
Uma Bharti, too, had offered to resign but her fate remains in a balance amid speculation that there may be a few more exits.
The resignation of Manohar Parrikar and M Venkaiah Naidu from the Union Cabinet and the demise of Anil Dave had created three vacancies in the cabinet. Their portfolios were distributed to Jaitley, Narendra Singh Tomar, Smriti Irani and Harsh Vardhan.
After assuming office in May 2014, Modi expanded his council of ministers twice–first on November 9, 2014 and then on July 5, 2016. The current strength of the council of ministers, including the prime minister, is 73 and the maximum number of ministers cannot go beyond 81.