Narendra Modi becomes Prime Minister again, Amit Shah in, Jaishankar surprise pick in Cabinet
Narendra Modi took the oath as Prime Minister for his second consecutive term at a glittering ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday. President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of Office and Secrecy to the Prime Minister.,
As the sun set over the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday, Narendra Modi and his council of ministers were sworn in for a second successive term with 8,000 people packing into the forecourt of the historic British-era presidential palace.
In a grand ceremony with overtones of a US presidential inauguration, heads of state and government, India Inc honchos, opposition leaders, BJP members and showbiz stars rubbed shoulders as they watched President Ram Nath Kovind administer the oath of office to India’s 58 new ministers.
The two-hour swearing-in ceremony of Modi government 2.0 — which created a splash, with the prime minister powering his party to a 303 victory in the 543-member Lok Sabha, and also a spectacle — is the largest event to be held in Rashtrapati Bhavan, officials said.
It was India’s Kodak moment for the political times with grandeur and pomp, ritual and glimpses of realpolitik and some history too.
The ceremony started at 7 pm, right on time, but the crowds had started filing in much earlier, taking their allotted seats and making conversation while millions watching the proceedings on TV and other screens speculated about who was who, who was there and who was not.
LEADERS WHO TOOK OATH AS CABINET MINISTERS:
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Modi recorded a spectacular victory in Varanasi, clocking a margin of 4,75,754 votes in the Lok Sabha elections 2019. Modi polled a total of 6,69,602 votes while his nearest rival, Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party (SP), got 1,93,848. Ajay Rai of the Congress got 1,51,800 votes. In 2014, Modi won from Varanasi by a margin of 3.37 lakh votes.
India Inc on Thursday said India will witness a rapid transformation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visionary leadership and hoped that landmark reforms in key areas like taxation, labour and land will be taken to boost economic growth.
Riding on a huge mandate, Modi was sworn in on Thursday as prime minister for a second term, heading the National Democratic Alliance government, in the presence of a large gathering of national and international dignitaries.
2. Rajnath Singh: One of the top leaders of the BJP, Rajnath Singh is a man of all seasons who maintains cordial relations with leaders across the political spectrum and enjoys wide acceptability. The Home Minister in the outgoing government, on whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi banked on heavily in the last five years whenever there was a crisis, be it farmers agitation, violence in Jammu and Kashmir or Jat quota stir, has been appointed Cabinet minister again.
Many see a reflection of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s mannerism in him and feel he has been carrying forward the party veteran’s legacy as ‘Ajatshatru, a man with no enemies. His good rapport with opposition leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mamata Banerjee, Mulayam Singh Yadav, and Omar Abdullah had made him government’s pointsman for any discussion with the opposition.
The image of the minister carrying on his shoulder the coffin of soldiers killed in February 14 Pulwama terror attack will remain etched in the minds of the people. A former professor of physics, it was Singh, as BJP President in 2013, who was instrumental in declaring Narendra Modi as prime ministerial candidate, despite strong opposition from veterans like LK Advani.
Singh was the third leader of the BJP, after Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, who had extensively campaigned for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Singh retained the Lucknow seat by defeating his nearest rival Poonam Sinha by over 3.4 lakh votes. Singh defeated SP candidate Sinha by a margin of 3,47,302 votes. Rajnath had defeated Congress candidate Rita Bahuguna Joshi by a margin of 27,2749 votes in 2014.
3. Amit Shah: Known as an astute strategist whose non-political interests range from playing chess and watching cricket to stage performances and listening to classical music, 54-year-old Shah is often hailed as the BJP’s most successful president for crafting its way to power states after states. Shah was declared elected from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 5.57 lakh votes against his nearest Congress rival CJ Chavda in the Lok Sabha elections.
Shah polled 8.94 lakh votes, while Chavda secured 3.37 lakh votes. Amit Shah has been declared elected, returning officer and Gandhinagar district collector SK Langa announced at the counting centre. In the 2014 general elections, BJP veteran L K Advani, 91, had won the seat.
4. Nitin Gadkari: Known for his administrative prowess and innovative approach in addressing issues, Nitin Jairam Gadkari has been instrumental in pushing infrastructure development and reviving projects stuck for many years. The 62-year-old senior BJP leader, often dubbed as the one of the high performing ministers during the first term of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, is expected to be entrusted with key responsibilities in the second term too.
He won the Nagpur Lok Sabha seat with a margin of around 2.13 lakh votes by defeating his former party man and now Congress member Nana Patole. Whether its reviving stuck highway projects worth Rs 3.85 lakh crore or starting cargo shipments on Ganga river, Gadkari has been at the forefront of infrastructure development. Some of the key projects are Eastern Peripheral Expressway and Delhi-Meerut Expressway and Zojila tunnel.
In May 2014, he took charge of the Road Transport, Highways and Shipping ministries. He was also given charge of Water Resoruces, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry from September 3, 2017.
5. Sadananda Gowda: The lawyer-turned-politician registered his fourth entry to Parliament by defeating Congress heavyweight Krishna Byre Gowda, a member of the HD Kumaraswamy ministry, in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha election. An RSS worker and a vocal ABVP leader during his college days, Gowda started his political career from Jan Sangh, the previous avatar of BJP. It was at these two organisations where he honed his political skills that ultimately helped him scale great heights in his career.
Gowda took a plunge into the electoral politics by getting elected from Puttur assembly constituency in 1994. In 2004, he defeated Congress stalwart and former chief minister Veerappa Moily from Mangalore Lok Sabha seat and made his maiden entry to Parliament. In 2006, he was appointed the BJP state president. His organisational skills led the party to form the first-ever BJP government in south India in 2008. Alongside, he became a member of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2009 from Udupi-Chikmagalur constituency.
6. Nirmala Sitharaman: Sitharaman was the first woman to be appointed full-time Defence Minister of India in September 2017 — and since then she has been assiduously trying to adopt a holistic approach in addressing the country’s security challenges. Sitharaman, 60, a Rajya Sabha member, is the second woman to take charge of the crucial ministry after Indira Gandhi who as the Prime Minister also held the portfolio in the seventies. One of BJP’s chief spokespersons before its ascent to power, Sitharaman is an alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University and London School of Economics.
As the Defence Minister, Sitharaman attempted to strengthen the Army, Navy and the Air Force and was credited for expediting the decision making process relating to defence procurement. However, her biggest moment came when India carried out air strikes on a terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot, seen as major policy shift in the country’s efforts to deal with cross border terrorism.
7. Ram Vilas Paswan: A politician with an uncanny knack for sensing which way the wind is blowing, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan has a rare distinction of serving as a minister in the cabinets of six prime ministers. Paswan Thursday took oath as Cabinet minister. The septuagenarian had started off as a member of the Bihar legislative assembly in the 1960s and shot to fame in the 1977 post-Emergency Lok Sabha polls when he won Hajipur seat by over four lakh votes, then a record margin.
Another emphatic victory in 1989 earned him his first stint in the cabinet of V P Singh, who appointed him as labour minister. Less than a decade later, he was back as railway minister in successive governments headed by H D Deve Gowda and I K Gujaral which together lasted for a couple of years. The Janata Dal faction, with which he was associated in the 1990s, sided with the BJP-led NDA and Paswan was made the minister for communications, and later coal in the government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Later, he floated his own party with a view to exploring the possibilities as the foremost Dalit leader in Bihar after Babu Jagjivan Ram. The Gujarat riots of 2002 saw him quit the NDA in protest and gravitate towards the Congress-led UPA, which came to power two years later. He was appointed the minister for chemicals and fertilizers and steel under Manmohan Singh.
His relations with the Congress got strained during the UPA-2 when he was denied a ministerial berth following his party’s debacle in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Paswan himself was defeated at his own citadel of Hajipur. Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls the BJP, which was looking for allies in Bihar so they could help it make up for the loss of Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U), welcomed him with open arms and offered him seven seats to contest. The LJP won six, including Paswan, his son Chirag and brother Ram Chandra.
8. Narendra Singh Tomar: Narendra Singh Tomar, a three-time MP who was made to the Union Cabinet for the second time, has come a long way in politics after starting as a BJP youth wing leader in the early 80s. It was Tomar who conducted the ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament when Narendra Modi was unanimously elected by the NDA’s constituent parties as their leader. Born on June 12, 1957 at Murar in Gwalior district, Tomar was president of the Gwalior unit of the BJP youth wing from 1980-84.
He was elected as a councilor in 1983, entered the Madhya Pradesh assembly in 1998 and served as a minister in the BJP government in the state from 2003-2007. Later he was appointed as state BJP president. After a brief stint as a Rajya Sabha member, Tomar was elected to the Lok Sabha from Morena in 2009. In 2014, he won the Lok Sabha election from Gwalior and was made a cabinet minister, heading several ministries including mines, steel, labour and employment and rural development and panchayati raj. He returned to Morena in the 2019 election, winning by a margin of over 1.13 lakh votes.
9. Ravi Shankar Prasad: Prasad emerged victorious in his first Lok Sabha election, defeating his colleague-turned opponent Shatrughan Sinha by more than 2.84 lakh votes. A four-time Rajya Sabha MP, Prasad wrested the Patna Sahib seat in Bihar from Sinha, a rebel BJP leader who is also known as ‘shotgun’. The 65-year-old Prasad has held various ministerial portfolios, including that of Law and Justice, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Atal Bihari Vajpayee governments.
When Narendra Modi swept to power in 2014, Prasad was first given the ministeries of Telecom and Information Technology and Electronics. Later, he was divested of the telecom portfolio. Currently, he is a Rajya Sabha member and holds the portfolios of Law and Justice as well as Electronics. He became a Rajya Sabha member for the first time in 2000 and since then, has been elected to the Upper House thrice.
10. Harsimrat Kaur Badal: A three-time parliamentarian from Bathinda in Punjab, Harsimrat, 53, belongs to a family that traces its lineage to 18th century royalty. Long time ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the SAD managed to win only two Lok Sabha seats. Co-incidently, her husband Sukhbir Singh Badal won the other seat. Born in New Delhi in the family stream of Attar Singh Majithia, a war veteran general of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army, Kaur is married to Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is the party president and former Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab. Her father-in-law Parkash Singh Badal is a four-time Chief Minister.
She is a graduate of Delhi University with Diploma in textile technology. Kaur had first made headlines with her efforts against female foeticide with launch of a non-profit organisation called ‘Nanhi Chhaan’ in 2008. She made her political debut the following year, contesting from Bathinda against Raninder Singh, the son of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, and winning by over 1.2 lakh votes.
11. Thawar Chand Gehlot: Thawar Chand Gehlot, a prominent lower caste face of the BJP, has made his way to the Narendra Modi cabinet for a second consecutive time. Gehlot was appointed as the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment during the Modi government’s first stint in 2014. As a minister, Gehlot scripted several schemes for the welfare of the deprived sections of the society as well as for the physically-challenged people.Born in Rupeta village in Nagda tehsil of Ujjain district on May 18, 1948, Gehlot graduated form Vikram University, Ujjain.
Gehlot represented the Shajapur Lok Sabha seat between 1996 and 2009. Following delimitation, Shajapur constituency ceased to exist and Dewas constituency came into being in 2008.
In 2009, Gehlot lost the Lok Sabha poll to Congress leader Sajjan Singh Verma, who is currently a minister in the Kamal Nath-led Madhya Pradesh government. The BJP leader became a Rajya Sabha member in 2012 and was re-elected to the Upper House of Parliament from Madhya Pradesh in 2018. His Rajya Sabha term will end in 2024.
12. S Jaishankar: Jaishankar, who joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1977, is known for his significant contribution in resolving the incursion in Ladakh’s Depsang and the Doklam stand-off through negotiations with China. He also played a key role in negotiating the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement that was signed by the UPA government in 2007.
The 64-year-old, who also had stints as the high commissioner to Singapore, was appointed as the Tata Group’s president of Global Corporate Affairs, post his retirement as the Foregin Secretary of India. In March, Jaishankar had received the Padma Shri award from President Ram Nath Kovind.
13. Ramesh Pokhriyal: After his term as the Uttarakhand chief minister ended in 2011, Ramesh Pokhriyal remained in political wilderness of sorts for eight years. During these years, he won every election he contested, but did not get any ministerial berth in his state or at the Centre. Pokhriyal won the Doiwala assembly seat in 2012. Two years later, he vacated the seat to contest from Haridwar in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, defeating the then chief minister Harish Rawat’s wife Renuka by 1.7 lakh votes.
In the 2019 elections, he retained the seat, defeating Ambrish Kumar of the Congress by a bigger margin of 2.59 lakh votes. Pokhriyal has been elected to the state assembly five times, first in undivided Uttar Pradesh and later Uttarakhand from 1991 to 2014. He is said to be close to BJP president Amit Shah and Nitin Gadkari. He is also known for proximity to yoga guru Ramdev.
14. Arjun Munda: Arjun Munda is a prominent tribal face not only in his home state of Jharkhand but also in neighbouring Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. A three-time chief minister, Munda edged out Congress’s Kalicharan Munda by a wafer-thin margin of just 1445 votes in Khunti (ST) seat besides campaigning for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
He is a passionate golf player and loves playing the flute and spends his spare time in art and painting. He has also promoted archery in the tribal state. He runs an archery academy and was instrumental in the rise of ace archer Deepika Kumari in international championships.
A witness to the rise and fall of governments in Jharkhand since its inception in 2000 to 2014, Munda was himself a victim twice to the politics of musical chairs when Independent MLA Madhu Koda toppled him in September, 2006 and then the JMM pulled down his government in 2013.
Munda, who began his career with the JMM during the statehood struggle before joining the saffron brigade, was first elected as MLA in 1995 in undivided Bihar and went on to win three consecutive terms from Kharsawan before losing the seat in 2014.
15. Smriti Irani: Smriti Irani, whose meteoric rise in the BJP saw her become the HRD and Information & Broadcasting Minister, is someone who would never give up. After losing to Rahul Gandhi in 2014, she continued to cultivate Amethi in the past five years and this helped her reap electoral dividends — she emerged a giant-killer of 2019 by defeating the Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his home turf.
Though the 43-year-old popular television actor-turned-politician lost in 2014, she had succeeded in bringing down the victory margin of Gandhi to only 1.07 lakh from 3.7 lakh in the previous election. The voters rewarded Irani for her sustained efforts in 2019.
16. Harsh Vardhan: Doctor-turned-politician Harsh Vardhan, who handled three portfolios in the last NDA government and initiated a crucial national programme to tackle air pollution, has made his way to the Narendra Modi cabinet for a second consecutive time. Vardhan was appointed Minister of Health and Family Welfare during the Modi government’s first stint in 2014 and later, given the charge of the Ministry of Earth Sciences and Ministry of Science and Technology.
In May 2017, he was given the additional charge of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change following the death of Union minister Anil Madhav Dave. The sixty-four-year-old was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from the Chandni Chowk seat, winning it by a margin of over 2 lakh votes this time.
17. Prakash Javadekar: Human Resource Development, Environment, Information and Broadcasting, Parliamentary Affairs and party spokesperson too, BJP leader Prakash Javadekar is the man who has played many roles for his party and government. Basking in the glory of the BJP winning 24 of 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan, a state where he was poll in-charge, the incumbent HRD minister was sworn in as a minister in a grand ceremony in the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday. The 68-year-old, who has held several portfolios in the previous Narendra Modi government, has had a fairly non-controversial political career. His various portfolios are not the only highlights of his career. He was also elected to the Rajya Sabha as a Member of Parliament from Maharashtra in 2008, and re-elected from Madhya Pradesh in 2014.
Javadekar took over the affairs of the HRD ministry from Smriti Irani who was shunted to the Textiles ministry amid various controversies, including rollback of the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) in Delhi University.
18. Piyush Goyal: From the BJP’s treasurer to its go-to man who has held coal, power, railways and finance portfolios, 54-year-old Piyush Goyal’s rise has been phenomenal. A chartered accountant by profession, Goyal, known for his corporate network developed during his days as an investment banker, is considered to be a key backroom strategist who played a significant role in resource mobilisation of the party.
Considered a blue-eyed boy of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, Goyal was given the finance portfolio in May last year which he held till August, while Arun Jaitley was recuperating from a kidney transplant.
19. Dharmendra Pradhan: Almost two decades back when he was a little-known figure and was contesting his maiden MLA election, his party’s poll ally and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik saw in him a potential threat. A threat that did come true when Dharmendra Pradhan helped build a groundswell for BJP that broke into Patnaik’s citadel in 2019.
Son of former union minister of state for surface transport, Debendra Pradhan, Dharmendra steered Modi government’s biggest social initiative of providing free cooking gas (LPG) connection to poor women that helped build a base for the party in the rural hinterland.
While he micromanaged implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawla Yojana to see LPG customer base more than double to 26 crore in just five years, he kept Odisha central to his political priorities and virtually drove many a project in the oil ministry he headed to the state. A tough taskmaster, Pradhan was picked to head the high-stake Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas when Prime Minister Modi first rode to power in 2014. The saffron party’s vote-share in the state registered a substantial rise from 21.88 per cent in 2014 to 38.4 per cent this time, while that of the BJD dropped to 42.8 per cent from 44.77 per cent.
20. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: In the previous government, Naqvi became Minister of State (MoS) for Minority Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs on May 26, 2014. He was elected to Rajya Sabha in 2016. After resignation of Najma Heptulla on July12, 2016, he got independent charge of the Ministry of Minority Affairs. Naqvi unsuccessfully contested elections for the legislative assembly of Uttar Pradesh in 1980 as a candidate of Janata Party (Secular).
He also contested elections as an independent candidate in the 1980 Lok Sabha elections from the Ayodhya constituency. He was elected to the 1998 Lok Sabha from Lok Sabha, and subsequently, given the post of Minister of State for Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
21. Pralhad Joshi: A die-hard RSS loyalist, long-time BJP worker Pralhad Joshi is a fourth time member of Parliament from the saffron party’s bastion of Dharwad. Joshi, who was also BJP Karnataka president, came to limelight as Rastradwaja Horata Samiti Sanchalak, when the party organised a movement to hoist the tricolour at Idgah Maidan in Hubballi that had created a huge law and order situation, and also “Save Kashmir Movement” in early 1990s.
Joshi won the Dharwad Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 2,05,072 votes, defeating Congress’s Vinay Kulkarni, a former minister, in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls.
Considered among those who are instrumental in making Hubballi-Dharwad and surrounding areas as the saffron party’s bastion, Joshi became general secretary of party’s Dharwad unit in 1998 and its president in 1995.
He first became the Member of Parliament in 2004, which he has been holding till date by winning consecutive four elections (2009, 2014 and again in 2019). Joshi has also served as BJP Karnataka state unit general secretary, and went on to become its president in 2013.
22. Mahendra Nath Pandey: Leading the charge of the BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, chess enthusiast Mahendra Nath Pandey has been rewarded for checkmating a united opposition in the state. Pandey, who served as a Union minister of state (MoS) in the Ministry of Human Resource Development between 2016 and 2017, was given the responsibility of the BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit in 2017 after the party’s massive win in the assembly elections.
Pandey, a Brahmin, played a significant role in wooing the upper caste in favour of the BJP ahead of the crucial general elections. He has a post-graduate degree in journalism and a PhD in Hindi from the Banaras Hindu University. Pandey, born on October 15, 1957, was elected the students’ union president of CM Anglo Bengali College and the general secretary of the students’ union of the Banaras Hindu University. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Chandauli in 2014, and in 2016, in a major cabinet reshuffle, Pandey took oath as MoS in the Human Resource Development in the Narendra Modi government.
23. Arvind Sawant: From building the party’s organisation in northern Maharashtra’s Dhule to wresting the high-profile Mumbai South seat, it has been a long journey for Shiv Sena lawmaker Arvind Sawant who has got a berth in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet. Known as a leader accessible to party workers and people, Sawant made a mark during his first term in the Lok Sabha in 2014 with his speeches which reflected a detailed analysis of the issues concerned and suggestions on policy decisions.
The 68-year-old leader, who retained his Mumbai-South seat this time by defeating Congress’s Milind Deora by over 1 lakh votes, has been associated with the Shiv Sena since the party’s early years. Sawant, who is now deputy leader of the party and its spokesman, started in 1968 as a ‘gat pramukh’, the lowest rung of hierarchy, rendering his services in poll duties and participating in various agitations organised by the Sena.
Described as a grassroot organisation man, Sawant helped the Uddhav Thackeray-led party make inroads in north Maharashtra and Marathwada.
He was an engineer at the Mahanagar Telephone Network Ltd (MTNL) till 1995 and took voluntary retirement after he was nominated to the Maharashtra Legislative Council from governor’s quota after Shiv Sena-BJP government came to power. He is currently the president of the MTNL trade union.
24. Giriraj Singh: Known for his controversial remarks, Bihar’s firebrand Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Giriraj Singh will commence his second term as a Lok Sabha member from Begusarai, Bihar. Singh in 2019 elections defeated CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar, former Jawaharlal Nehru University student union leader, by over 4.22 lakh votes. 66-year-old Singh, who was Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the Narendra Modi-government, began his political career as a member of Bihar legislative council in 2002.
During 2008 and 2010, he was a minister in the cabinet of the then chief minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar. He served as minister of cooperative, animal husbandry and fisheries resource development in the Government of Bihar. In 2014, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Nawada constituency and was inducted into the council of ministers by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is one of the important upper caste leaders in the Bihar BJP who play a fundamental role in the mobilisation of upper caste votes in the state.
25. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat: After defeating Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son from the high-stakes Jodhpur seat, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat appeared set to get his second stint in the Union ministry. Shekhawat was first elected to the Lok Sabha from Jodhpur in 2014 and was made the minister of state for agriculture and farmers’ welfare in September 2017. On Thursday, he was sworn-in as a cabinet minister.
As an MP, Shekhawat contributed to the development of the civil airport of Jodhpur city, which is also known as the ‘blue city’, and expansion of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
The 51-year-old had defeated Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot in Jodhpur by over 2.7 lakh votes. campaign. Known for his oratory skills and popular in his constituency, Shekhawat is often fondly referred to as “Gajju banna”.
MINISTERS WHO TOOK OATH AS MoS INDEPENDENT CHARGE
1. Santosh Gangwar
2. Rao Indrajit Singh
3. Sripad Naik
4. Jitendra Singh
5. Kiren Rijiju
6. Prahlad Singh Patel
7. RK Singh
8. Hardeep Singh Puri
9. Mansukh Mandaviya
MINISTERS WHO TOOK OATH AS MoS
1. Faggan Singh Kulaste
2. Ashwini Kumar Choubey
3. Arjun Ram Meghwal
4. Gen VK Singh
5 Raosaheb Danve
6. Krishan Pal Gurjar
7. G Kishan Reddy
8. Parshottam Rupala
9. Ram Das Athwale
10. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti
11. Babul Supriyo
12. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan
13. Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre
14. Anurag Singh Thakur
15. Angadi Suresh Channabasappa
16. Nityanand Rai
17. Rattan Lal Kataria
18. V Muraleedharan
19. Renuka Singh Saruta
20. Som Parkash
21. Rameswar Teli
22. Pratap Chandra Sarangi
23. Kailash Choudhary
24. Debasree Chaudhari
Among those present were former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former president Pratibha Patil, veteran BJP leader L K Advani and even spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is adamant on his decision to quit office after his party’s debacle in the hustings and hasn’t been seen for some days, created a buzz when he walked in with his mother, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
The NDA ally Janata Dal-United chief Nitish Kumar was there too, making an entry shortly after his party announced it would not be part of the government. The BJP was offering one cabinet berth to the JD(U) and sources said the regional party was also unhappy with the portfolio offered to it.
Leaders of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries, including Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, President of Myanmar U Win Myint and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering also attended the gala event.
Kyrgyz President and current chair of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, and Mauritius PM Pravind Kumar Jugnauth also attended the event
From India Inc, Reliance Industry’s Mukesh Ambani, veteran industry leader Ratan Tata, steel baron L N Mittal and Adani Group head Gautam Adani were among the who’s who of corporate India present.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, Essar Director Prashant Ruia, Tata Group Chairman N Chandrasekaran, Vedanta Chairman Anil Aggarwal and HDFC’s Deepak Parekh were there as well.
Making a starry splash were showbiz stars, including those who were voted into power like Hema Malini and her stepson Sunny Deol. Others like cine star Rajinikanth, filmmaker Karan Johar, Shahid Kapoor, Boney Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut added a touch of glamour.
Sidharth Roy Kapur, president of the Film and Television Producers Guild of India, Vivek Oberoi, Anupam Kher, Madhur Bhandarkar and Boney Kapoor were also a part of the event.
“The kind of victory they have had, It is almost like a celebration. It is celebration of democracy,” Boney told PTI.
It was an eclectic gathering. Among those invited were the families of the BJP workers allegedly killed during political violence West Bengal as well as those of one of the martyrs of the Pulwama terror attack.
After the event, there were light snacks and then a dinner hosted by the president for about 40 guests.
A centrepiece of the dinner was ‘Dal Raisina’, cooked painstakingly over 48 hours.
(With PTI inputs)