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Modi signals continuity with portfolio decision

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Key ministers unchanged; Nadda gets back Health Ministry

NEW DELHI, June 10: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday signalled continuity as he retained Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar in charge of the four high-profile ministries — Home, Defence, Finance and External Affairs respectively — in his new government.
The four ministers in charge of these portfolios make up the crucial Cabinet Committee on Security headed by the prime minister.
Among new entrants to the Union Cabinet, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has got Agriculture and Rural Development Ministries, while BJP president JP Nadda has returned to the Health Ministry, a portfolio he had held in the Modi government’s first term before he took charge of the ruling BJP first as working president in 2019 and then as the full-fledged president in 2020.
Credited with boosting the highway network across the country, Nitin Gadkari has retained the charge of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry. Former Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has been allocated Housing and Urban Affairs, and Power Ministries.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, a rising star in the government who was in charge of crucial Railways, and Electronics and Information Technology ministries, has not only retained these portfolios but has also been given the important Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
Dharmendra Pradhan and Piyush Goyal will also continue to be in charge of the Education, and Commerce and Industry ministries respectively. Hardeep Singh Puri has retained the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry but has shed the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
President Droupadi Murmu directed the allocation of portfolios to 72 members of the Union Council of Ministers, including the prime minister, as advised by Modi, according to an official statement.
The BJP has retained most of the strategic ministries driving the government’s signature programmes while giving up on a few for allies, especially the TDP and JD(U) which have got Civil Aviation, and Panchayati Raj, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying respectively.
The retention of key ministers in critical roles suggests a strategy of stability and continuity. These ministers have previously shaped major government policies and their continued presence indicates a focus on maintaining and building on existing strategies.
The allocation of significant portfolios to new entrants and reassignment of responsibilities, like Ashwini Vaishnaw taking on the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, is suggestive of a strategic redistribution to enhance efficiency and address emerging challenges.
By allocating important ministries to allied parties, the Modi government 3.0 has underscored a collaborative approach, aiming to consolidate support and maintain coalition harmony. This could be a crucial move for political stability and effective governance.
The blend of retaining experienced ministers and introducing new faces like Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Shiv Sena’s Jadhav Prataprao Ganpatrao indicates a balance between leveraging experienced leadership and bringing in fresh perspectives to the Cabinet. (With PTI inputs)

Portfolio Highlights

Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Agriculture and Rural Development) and JP Nadda (Health) are notable new entrants
Nitin Gadkari continues with the Road Transport and Highways Ministry
Manohar Lal Khattar is allocated Housing and Urban Affairs, and Power Ministries
Ashwini Vaishnaw retains Railways and Electronics and Information Technology and adds the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
Dharmendra Pradhan and Piyush Goyal retain Education and Commerce and Industry respectively.
Hardeep Singh Puri retains Petroleum and Natural Gas but loses Housing and Urban Affairs.

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