The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed the allocation of portfolios among the members of the Union Council of Ministers. The first meeting of the new Union Cabinet will take place on Friday at 5 pm.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Council of Ministers were sworn in on Thursday at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Union Cabinet for the 17th Lok Sabha includes 24 cabinet ministers, 9 ministers of state with independent charge and 24 Ministers of State (MoS).
Top leaders who were sworn in as cabinet ministers include Amit Shah (Home Minister), Rajnath Singh (Minister of Defence), Nitin Gadkari (Minister of Road Transport and Highways), DV Sadananda Gowda (Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers), Nirmala Sitharaman (Minister of Finance), Ramvilas Paswan (Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution) and former foreign secretary S Jaishankar (Minister of External Affairs), a surprise pick.
Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Sadanand Gowda and Representatives of BJP allies-Ram Vilas Paswan (LJSP), Harsimrat Kaur (Akali Dal), Arvind Sawant (Shiv Sena) and Ramdas Athawale (RPI-A) who will be a Minister of State (MoS) also took oath.
Some of the key ministers in the previous Modi government, including Sushma Swaraj, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Maneka Gandhi, are not a part of the new council of ministers, while former finance minister Arun Jaitley opted out of the new cabinet citing health reasons.
(With ANI inputs)