Newly sworn-in ministers posing for the camera in front of majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan. (Photo: Twitter/@BJP4India)
The first meeting of newly appointed Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to be held on Friday, a day after swearing-in ceremony, according to sources. Although there was no set agenda for the meeting, the government’s strategy for the next five years is likely to be discussed, the sources said.
On Friday, Narendra Modi took oath as prime minister for the second consecutive term, while 57 others were sworn in as ministers. Of the total 57 ministers, 24 were of Cabinet rank, 9 of independent minister of state rank and 24 minister of state rank.
The portfolios of them will also be announced later today. This time, 26 new faces, including BJ)P president Amit Shah, have been inducted in the Union Cabinet. The most surprising of them all was the name of former foreign secretary S Jaishankar.
According to sources, Amit Shah is likely to replace Arun Jaitley as the Union finance minister after the later opted out from staying in the government, citing poor health. The former foreign secretary, who surprised many by his induction in the new Cabinet, may get Sushma Swaraj’s foreign affairs ministry.
The Council of Ministers in the new Modi government has six women members. While 3 of them were sworn in as cabinet minister, others took oath as minister of state (MoS).
Several regional leaders, including heads of Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan besides the president of the Kyrgyz Republic and the prime minister of Mauritius, were present during the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi at the majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan.