Narendra Modi 3.0 Cabinet dominated by BJP MPs | Who’s who? Meet the Union ministers | Latest News India

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By Mahtab Ahmad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, signalling continuity, has retained key ministers in his new government. Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, and S Jaishankar will continue to lead the high-profile ministries of home, defence, finance, and external affairs, respectively. These four ministers also form the crucial Cabinet committee on security, chaired by the prime minister.

PM Narendra Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh, home minister Amit Shah, BJP national president JP Nadda and Union minister Piyush Goyal.(PTI file)
PM Narendra Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh, home minister Amit Shah, BJP national president JP Nadda and Union minister Piyush Goyal.(PTI file)

Among the new cabinet members, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been assigned the agriculture and rural development ministries. Bharatiya Janata Party president JP Nadda returns to the health ministry, a position he previously held during Modi’s first term before becoming the party president. Follow Live Updates on Narendra Modi Cabinet

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Nitin Gadkari, known for his work on expanding the national highway network, remains in charge of the road transport and highways ministry. Former Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has been given the housing and urban affairs and power ministries.

Also Read | In Narendra Modi Cabinet, Home portfolio allocated to Amit Shah, key posts in NDA govt with BJP: Here’s the full list

Ashwini Vaishnaw, who previously managed the railways and electronics and information technology ministries, retains these portfolios and has also been given the information and broadcasting ministry.

Dharmendra Pradhan and Piyush Goyal will continue to head the education and commerce and industry ministries, respectively. Hardeep Singh Puri will remain in charge of the petroleum and natural gas ministry but will no longer oversee the housing and urban affairs ministry.

President Droupadi Murmu, on the advice of Prime Minister Modi, directed the allocation of portfolios to the 72 members of the Union council of ministers, according to an official statement.

Also Read | Modi 3.0: From Chirag Paswan to Lalan Singh, BJP allies who got key cabinet posts

Complete list of Modi 3.0 Cabinet ministers:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, all important policy issues, and portfolios not allocated to any minister

Ministry of Home Affairs: Amit Shah

Ministry of Cooperation Amit Shah

Ministry of Defence: Rajnath Singh

Ministry of External Affairs: S Jaishankar

Ministry of Finance: Nirmala Sitharaman

Ministry of Corporate Affairs: Nirmala Sitharaman

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways: Nitin Gadkari

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare: JP Nadda

Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers: JP Nadda

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports: Mansukh Mandaviya

Ministry of Labour and Employment: Mansukh Mandaviya

Ministry of Food Processing Industries: Chirag Paswan

Ministry of Agriculture And Farmers Welfare: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Ministry of Rural Development: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Ministry of Power: Manohar Lal Khattar

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs: Manohar Lal Khattar

Ministry of Tourism: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Ministry of Culture: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting: Ashwini Vaishnaw

Ministry of Railways: Ashwini Vaishnaw

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology: Ashwini Vaishnaw

Ministry of Civil Aviation: Kinjarapu Rammohan Naidu

Ministry of Education: Dharmendra Pradhan

Ministry of Women and Child Development: Annapurna Devi

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change: Bhupendra Yadav

Ministry of Jal Shakti: CR Paatil

Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs: Kiren Rijiju

Ministry of Minority Affairs: Kiren Rijiju

Ministry of Heavy Industries: HD Kumaraswamy

Ministry of Steel: HD Kumaraswamy

Ministry Of Communication: Jyotiraditya Scindia

Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region: Jyotiraditya Scindia

Ministry of Textiles: Giriraj Singh

Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution: Prahlad Joshi

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy: Prahlad Joshi

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas: Hardeep Singh Puri

Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises: Jitan Ram Manjhi

Ministry of Panchayati Raj: Lallan Singh

Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy: Lallan Singh

Ministry of Commerce and Industry: Piyush Goyal

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways: Sarbananda Sonowal

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment: Virendra Kumar

Ministry of Tribal Affairs: Jual Oram

Ministry of Coal: G Kishan Reddy

Ministry of Mines: G Kishan Reddy

Brief profiles of some of the cabinet ministers

Amit Shah: Recognised for his political acumen and strategic prowess, senior BJP leader Amit Shah has played a pivotal role in the phenomenal growth of the saffron party which helped it to cross the 300-seat mark in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Known as the second most influential figure in the country after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a person dedicated to the saffron ideology, 59-year-old Shah rose as the BJP’s master organiser when its alliance secured 73 seats from Uttar Pradesh in 2014 under his leadership as the party’s general secretary.

Often likened to the modern-day Chanakya, Shah made history by becoming the youngest president of the Bharatiya Janata Party at 49 in 2014, later assuming office as one of the youngest Union Home Ministers at 54 in 2019.

Born into a prominent Gujarati family in Mumbai in 1964, Shah’s political journey began at the age of 16 when he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a ‘Swayamsevak’ in 1980, swiftly immersing himself in the activities of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) soon after.

By demonstrating unwavering commitment to the party’s principles, exceptional organisational skills, and eloquence, Shah swiftly climbed the ranks, becoming the joint secretary of the ABVP’s Gujarat unit within two years.

Rajnath Singh: A strategist and a quintessential political leader with grassroots connect, Rajnath Singh is credited with expanding the BJP’s organisational network in the Hindi heartland state of Uttar Pradesh in the 1990s and the subsequent decades. Hailing from the Chandauli district of the politically crucial state, Singh is known as a moderate face and is widely respected by leaders cutting across party lines.

The 72-year-old Singh, whose illustrious political career spanned over five decades, on Sunday took oath as a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet.

Long seen as a protege of BJP patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Singh started his political career as a student activist with Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and went on to become the BJP national president in 2005.

The senior BJP leader was elected for another term as the party president in January 2013. In the Lok Sabha polls, Singh retained the prestigious Lucknow constituency. In the first tenure of Prime Minister Modi, Singh served as Union Home Minister.

As the defence minister since 2019, he initiated several path-breaking measures to strengthen India’s combat readiness along the border with China as well as boost the country’s defence manufacturing.

Under his leadership, the defence ministry pursued an aggressive policy to enhance infrastructure along the frontier region that significantly helped faster military mobilisation in sensitive sectors.

Nitin Gadkari: Senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari, popularly referred as the ‘Highway Man of India’, is known to be a go-getter in whatever work he undertakes. The 67-year-old leader from Nagpur in Maharashtra has been the longest-serving minister for road transport & highways as he held the portfolio in the last two governments led by Narendra Modi.

Nitin Gadkari is credited with the construction of more than 90,000 km of national highways and 30,000 km of new roads in the country in the last 10 years.

In an interview to PTI earlier this year, the senior BJP leader said he wants to help people even in the smallest possible way and keep working for them to bring about a positive change in their lives.

The former BJP president, closely associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has won three consecutive times from the Lok Sabha seat of Nagpur, which houses the RSS headquarters.

On Sunday, he was inducted into the NDA government as a cabinet minister.

Gadkari’s foray into national politics came when he was appointed president of the BJP in 2009.

Since 2014, when Gadkari made his debut in the Lok Sabha polls from Nagpur and became a minister at the Centre, he has handled several portfolios like the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.

Gadkari has kept a low profile politically since becoming a minister and focused on his ministries.

He served as a member of the Maharashtra legislative council from the Nagpur Graduates’ constituency from 1989 to 2014. He became a state minister for the first time in 1995 and held charge of the Public Works Department (PWD).

During the period, he worked for getting all weather roads constructed in the state and containing the problem of malnutrition in the Melghat area of Vidarbha region.

The Mumbai-Pune Expressway and 54 flyovers in the Maharashtra capital were constructed during his tenure as a state minister.

S Jaishankar: The BJP leader served as external affairs minister during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term (2019-2024). He has been a BJP MP in Rajya Sabha from Gujarat since 2019.

Jaishankar, who has made headlines for his witty replies and oratory skills, has been at the centre stage in the team shaping India’s foreign policy for the last decade. Prior to being the EAM in 2019, Jaishankar also served as India’s foreign secretary from 2015 to 2018. Notably, he also became the first foreign secretary to assume the role of EAM.

Jaishankar’s tenure in 2019 as India’s EAM came amid massive uncertainties owing to global turbulence and conflicts. His tenure saw episodes like the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Israel-Hamas war and the Covid pandemic, all of which left a strong impact on not just the Indian economy but also that of the whole world.

But, during these turbulent times, India’s stand was marked by the priority of ‘Nation First’. Regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict, India has always condemned civilian killings and called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

However, despite pressure from the West, India has not refrained from purchasing Russian oil below the price cap.

Nirmala Sitharaman: Nirmala Sitharaman, who joined the likes of Arun Jaitley and Manmohan Singh by serving a full term as finance minister and is credited with carrying forward second-generation reforms, created a record by being the first woman to be sworn in as minister for the third consecutive term of the Modi government.

Being a fiery spokesperson of the BJP, she was inducted into the Cabinet when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of the NDA government in 2014.

As a staunch defender of the Modi government’s economic policies and executor, she created a record when she was appointed as the first female Raksha Mantri, or Defence Minister, in 2017. Prior to that, she was industry and commerce minister.

When her mentor Arun Jaitley took ill, Sitharaman was given the charge of the finance portfolio in the newly re-elected Modi government after the 2019 general elections, when BJP won its highest seats of 303.

She became the first full-time woman finance minister in Independent India. Earlier, Indira Gandhi had held finance as an additional portfolio for a short duration when she was the prime minister of India.

Soon after taking over, the first major reform was a cut in base corporate tax to 22 per cent from 30 per cent to prop up the economy hit by demonetisation and GST implementation.

Born in Madurai on August 18, 1959, to Narayan Sitharaman (who worked in the Railways) and Savitri (a homemaker), Nirmala Sitharaman studied economics at Tiruchirapalli’s Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College. She then moved to the capital to pursue her Master’s and M.Phil in the subject from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

But before Sitharaman forayed into politics, she was part of the corporate world in the UK, where she was living with her husband Parakala Prabhakar. The two had met while studying at JNU, and tied the knot in 1986; they have a daughter, Parakala Vangmayi.

Ashwini Vaishnaw: A 1994-batch IAS officer who resigned from the service in 2010 to work in multinational companies like GE and Siemens before starting his entrepreneurial journey, Ashwini Vaishnaw was among the key ministers in Modi 2.0 who handed important portfolios like Railways, IT and Electronics and Communications steering creation of public infrastructure at a record speed.

During his tenure as railway minister beginning from 2021, Vaishnaw oversaw rapid electrification of tracks as well as adding more tracks. This year, railways will add 5,500 kilometres of new track, which is equal to integrating Switzerland’s size into the country annually, while nearly 7,000 kilometres of worn-out tracks will be replaced each year. In the last three years, he pushed the introduction of 40-odd luxury trains, called the Vande Bharat Express, the medium-distance superfast express trains that connect cities less than 800 km (apart or take less than ten hours to travel). Last year, his ministry rolled out Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system, Kavach, that would prevent collision between two trains if they travel on the same track accidentally.

Soon after he took over in 2021, Vaishnaw was in the crosshairs of opposition parties over alleged snooping of Indian journalists and activists through Pegasus software, an Israeli spyware that was misused to compromise the mobile phone data of several political opponents. Subsequently, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court in the Pegasus controversy by a few individuals following which a three-member expert panel was constituted by the Supreme Court to examine the allegations of snooping of mobile phones using the spyware. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by the then Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said that the central government did “not cooperate” in the investigation. The case is still pending in the Supreme Court.

Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh: Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, 69, former Janata Dal( United) national president, is a senior leader of his party and considered a trusted loyalist of chief minister Nitish Kumar and has served as minister in the state government. He is set to become a Union minister from the JD(U), which reflects how chief minister Nitish Kumar has reposed faith on his old loyalist.

Singh, 69, hails from the upper caste Bhumihar caste in Bihar and started his political career in 1974 students coming in close to former chief minister and socialist leader Karpoori Thakur. Later, he got associated with the old Janata Dal pariwar and was among the founding members of the Samata Party led by Chief Minister Kumar and former defense minister Geroge Fernandes.

Chirag Paswan: An actor-turned-politician, Chirag Paswan, 41, president of the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), and a three-time Lok Sabha MP from Bihar, comes to the 18th Lok Sabha with an enviable distinction of having a 100% strike rate for his relatively new political outfit, having won all the five seats it contested during the recently concluded general elections. Paswan, who himself won the Hajipur seat, carries the legacy of his father late Ram Vilas Paswan, a Dalit leader, eight-time Lok Sabha MP and former Union minister. He made debut in films in 2011 with “Mile Na Mile Hum”, opposite Kangana Ranaut, now a BJP MP from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. After an unsuccessful career in Bollywood, Paswan learnt the political ropes from his father before deciding to take the political plunge. He has not looked back since.

HD Kumaraswamy: Born into the influential Gowda family on December 16, 1959, in Haradanahalli, Hassan district, Karnataka, HD Kumaraswamy’s life has been a roller-coaster of soaring highs and devastating lows. Known affectionately as “Kumaranna” to his followers, he has been a kingmaker, a chief minister, and an “unreliable partner who found friends even after betrayals,” as described by a Congress leader.

HD Kumaraswamy, the son of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, completed his education at the National College in Bangalore. Initially, he did not aspire to enter politics, preferring the film industry, where he produced and distributed Kannada films. However, his family’s political legacy soon drew him into the political arena. In 1996, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Kanakapura constituency, marking the beginning of his political career.

The political drama surrounding Kumaraswamy began in 2006 when Kumaraswamy, then a relatively junior player in state politics, executed a surprising political manoeuvre. The Karnataka assembly elections had left no party with a clear majority. Kumaraswamy, leading a faction of JD(S), broke away from an earlier agreement with the Congress and allied with the BJP, despite the ideological differences between the two parties. This alliance allowed him to become the chief minister of Karnataka. However, internal strife plagued the coalition, leading to its collapse in 2007 when Kumaraswamy resigned after the BJP accused him of not honouring the power-sharing agreement and withdrew support.

The 2018 state elections set the stage for another dramatic chapter in Kumaraswamy’s political saga. The elections resulted in a hung assembly, with no party securing an outright majority. Seizing the opportunity, Kumaraswamy formed a post-poll alliance with the Congress to keep the BJP out of power. Despite ideological differences and historical enmity, the JD(S)-Congress coalition formed the government, with Kumaraswamy once again taking the oath as chief minister without his party winning the majority. However, this coalition was unstable, with constant threats from internal dissent and external pressures. The relationship between Kumaraswamy and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah was particularly strained, leading to defections that eventually caused the government’s collapse in 2019.

Wooing to hit back at the Congress, in 2023, Kumaraswamy began his assembly elections saying it would be his last. This declaration was not just a retirement plan but a strategic move to galvanise the party base. The 2023 elections were a high-stakes drama, with Kumaraswamy contesting from the Channapatna constituency against BJP’s CP Yogeshwara. The tension on election day was palpable, and Kumaraswamy’s lead fluctuated, keeping supporters on edge. Ultimately, he won by a margin of 15,915 votes. Despite his personal victory, JD(S) managed to win only 19 out of the contested 204 seats, a low point in the party’s history.

After staying on the fence, in September last year, HD Kumaraswamy entered into an alliance with the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Although the alliance didn’t dramatically change JD(S)’ fortunes, as it contested fewer seats than before, it significantly impacted Congress in south Karnataka.

Jyotiraditya Scindia: Jyotiraditya Scindia’s induction into the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led council of ministers has cemented his importance in the BJP setup since he quit the Congress four years ago, marking the beginning of his second stint in the cabinet as a saffron party leader. In the 2024 general elections, Scindia, 53, secured a landslide victory from his traditional Guna seat, contesting as a BJP candidate for the first time, with a record margin of over 5 lakh votes.

The BJP has won all 29 constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, also wresting the Chhindwara seat, the last stronghold of Congress from the Kamal Nath family, which it had failed to win in 2019. In 2020, Scindia was first inducted as Union minister in the Modi government and assigned Civil Aviation portfolio after he helped the BJP topple the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh. Scindia’s ministerial appointment comes as a recognition of his notable performance as the Civil Aviation and Steel Minister, according to sources close to him.

Scindia’s political lineage runs deep, with his family having represented Guna for generations. His grandmother, the late Vijayaraje Scindia, and his father, the late Madhavrao Scindia, previously held the seat. Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia was one of the founding members of the Jana Sangh.

Born on January 1, 1971, and educated at Harvard and Stanford, Scindia entered politics after his father’s sudden death in a plane crash, winning a bypoll in 2002. He went on to clinch victories in general elections in 2004, 2009 and 2014 from Guna as a Congress leader.

He served in the then Congress-led UPA government from 2007 to 2014, holding positions as Minister of State for Communications, Commerce and Industry, and Power.

Although re-elected from Guna in 2014, he lost the seat in 2019. As the chairman of the Congress campaign committee in the 2018 Madhya Pradesh assembly polls, he played a crucial role in the party’s victory, although the Chief Ministership went to Kamal Nath.

Scindia’s discontent with the Congress leadership culminated in his switch to the BJP in 2020. A key turning point came when 22 Congress MLAs loyal to Scindia, including six ministers, resigned, dislodging the Congress government from power in his home state. Chief Minister Chouhan had noted that the entire Scindia family was now united under the BJP banner.

Piyush Goyal: Piyush Goyal, who handled key ministries, including Commerce and Industry, in the second Modi government, won his debut Lok Sabha poll from the Mumbai North constituency with an impressive vote margin. Goyal, 59, has been a Rajya Sabha member since 2010 and eloquently articulated the government’s position on various occasions during debates on various issues in the Upper House of Parliament.

Before the polls, Goyal hit out at the opposition leaders for labelling him an outsider, and said he was born in Mumbai, studied in the HR College and Government Law College, started his Chartered Accountancy practice in Lalbaug and worked as an investment banker on Nepean Sea Road.

On Sunday, he again became the Union cabinet minister, this time as a Lok Sabha member. In the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, Goyal won against Congress candidate Bhushan Patil from the Mumbai North seat by a huge margin of 3,57,608 votes, the highest in the state.

He is the son of BJP loyalists Ved Prakash Goyal and Chandrakanta Goyal. His father was the minister of shipping in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and a BJP national treasurer, and his mother was a three-term MLA from Matunga in Mumbai. Piyush Goyal was elevated to the cabinet rank in September 2017.

Annapurna Devi: Politics was never on the cards for homemaker Annapurna Devi, who was sworn in as Union minister in the Narendra Modi government on Sunday. Her life took a dramatic turn when her husband, Ramesh Yadav, an RJD legislator, died suddenly in 1998. Thrust into the political arena by fate, she embarked on an arduous journey down an untrodden path. Now, she has secured a seat in the Modi 3.0 government, a move seen as the BJP’s bold strategy to consolidate a sizable OBC vote bank ahead of the crucial Assembly elections later this year.

This unexpected rise to power has sparked political circles with speculation and intrigue. Her first ministerial berth in 2021 had already raised many eyebrows. It seemed a surprising choice to outsiders, but to insiders, it was a masterstroke—a calculated bid to solidify the OBC vote bank in Jharkhand.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan: BJP’s veteran leader and four-time Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was on Sunday sworn in as a minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Union Cabinet. The 65-year-old BJP leader was administered oath by President Droupadi Murmu at the swearing-in ceremony at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister for the third consecutive time. Chouhan became the Union cabinet minister for the first time in his more than three-decade-long political career.

In the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, chief minister Mohan Yadav and Chouhan campaigned extensively for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, where the party won all 29 Lok Sabha seats, Chouhan won the Vidisha seat by a record margin of 8,21,408 votes in the general elections 2024 on Tuesday, according to the Election Commission of India.

The BJP leader received a massive mandate of 11,16,460 votes, while Congress’s Pratap Bhanu Sharma came in second with 2,95,052 votes.

Manohar Lal Khattar: From being an RSS worker once to being hand-picked as chief minister in 2014 to being replaced with his confidante 10 years later, 70-year-old Manohar Lal Khattar has seen it all. He joined the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh as a permanent member in 1977 and stayed with it for 17 years before he was made a member of the BJP in 1994. In 2014, he became an MLA for the first time and was tapped to become the chief minister of Haryana by the BJP. Ten years later, in March 2024, he was replaced by his confidante Nayab Singh Saini, to allow him a chance to become a Member of Parliament.

Contesting his first Lok Sabha polls from Karnal, Khattar defeated Congress’s Divyanshu Budhiraja by an impressive margin of over 2.35 lakh votes.

According to some accounts, Khattar is considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who he worked with in the 1990s in party organisation. Khattar, a bachelor, worked for almost 40 years as an RSS pracharak. In 1996, Khattar started working with Modi, who was then the BJP in-charge of Haryana.

Coming from an agricultural background, his family arrived in Haryana from Pakistan post-Partition. His family settled at Nindana, a village in Haryana’s Rohtak district. He was born in Nindana in 1954.

Dharmendra Pradhan: Senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan, who was the education and skill development minister in the last Modi government, was inducted into the Union cabinet for the third time on Sunday. Pradhan, who returns to the Lok Sabha after 15 years, won from Sambpalpur in Odisha, defeating the Biju Janata Dal’s Pranab Prakash Das by a substantial margin of over 1.19 lakh votes.

It is not known yet if he would be retaining his portfolio as the education minister in which he was tasked with the implementation of the ambitious new National Education Policy (NEP).

Pradhan, a prominent face of the BJP in Odisha, was also being seen as a probable choice for the state’s first BJP chief minister after the party secured 78 seats in the assembly polls, defeating the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD.

Hardeep Singh Puri: Hardeep Singh Puri, the former diplomat who displayed unflinching altruism in driving from the background the construction of new Parliament and navigating India through two back-to-back oil crises, seems to have been rewarded for scam-free tenure in ministries otherwise considered minefields.

Puri, 72, a minister for housing and urban affairs and petroleum and natural gas in the outgoing Modi 2.0 government, was among the ministers sworn in on Sunday in Modi’s new administration.

Born in Delhi, the 1974 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, Puri claims to be affiliated to ABVP – the students’ body aligned to BJP, during his student days at Hindu College of the Delhi University (DU), where he received his bachelor and master’s degrees in history.

He officially joined BJP in January 2014 after retiring from the service.

He was inducted into the council of ministers as minister of state (independent charge) for housing and urban affairs in September 2017. He was given the additional charge of minister of state (independent charge) for civil aviation and the minister of state for commerce and industry in May 2019.

In July 2021, he was elevated as the Union minister and given the ministry of petroleum and natural gas alongside housing and urban affairs.

Mansukh Mandaviya: BJP’s grassroots worker Mansukh Mandaviya, who rose through the party ranks to become the Union health minister during the Covid peak, was inducted into the Union cabinet for the second time on Sunday.

Fighting the Lok Sabha elections for the first time after being a Rajya Sabha member for two terms, Mandaviya won from Porbandar in Gujarat defeating Congress’ Lalit Vasoya by a margin of more than 3.8 lakh votes.

Known as “Green MP” for his penchant for cycling to Parliament, Mandaviya, 51, has been steadily rising through the party ranks ever since he associated with the BJP as a youth.

In the Modi government 2.0, he led the ministries of health and chemicals and fertilisers.

Kiren Rijiu: The political career of Kiren Rijiju, who was inducted into the Union cabinet on Sunday, is a riveting story of tenacity, commitment and leadership. Born on November 19, 1971, in Nakhu Village of West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh, Rijiju has gone a long way from modest beginnings to a prominent player in Indian politics. His career encompasses multiple significant responsibilities that demonstrate his persistent dedication to public service, as well as the advancement of his home state and the country.

After completing his undergraduate studies at Hansraj College under Delhi University, he went on to the varsity’s Faculty of Law campus to obtain his law degree (LLB).

Along with developing his academic abilities, his time in school helped him develop his physical abilities, and he still enjoys playing football and badminton in particular.

Rijiju first entered politics in 2004 and won a seat in the 14th Lok Sabha, representing the Arunachal West constituency. During his term, he showed a strong attention to the interests of his citizens and a commitment to enhancing government and infrastructure.

His perseverance was evident when he joined the Congress and acted as an advisor to former chief minister Dorjee Khandu, despite a setback in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

With his comeback to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Rijiju’s career entered a new phase.

Re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 2014, he profited from the strategic northeast focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and emerged as a key player in the ‘Look East’ policy. His role as an important representative for Arunachal Pradesh was further cemented by his re-election in 2019.

Sarbananda Sonowal: Assam MP Sarbananda Sonowal, a fire-brand student leader who battled odds to become chief minister, was on Sunday inducted into the Narendra Modi-led cabinet for the third time.

Sonowal was the Minister of State for Sports & Youth Welfare for two years from 2014, as the northeast’s sole representative in the Union Council of Ministers, before he scripted BJP’s historic win in Assam to become the CM, only to relinquish the post and become a cabinet minister in the Modi 2.0 government in 2021.

From the rough and tumble of student politics to becoming a minister thrice, Sonowal’s political journey has been punctuated by twists and turns along the way.

As a dynamic student leader who went on to join the state’s most prominent regional party, the Asom Gana Parishad, and later switched over to the BJP, Sonowal was Modi’s obvious choice as the chief minister of Assam when the saffron party won for the first time in the northeast in 2016.

However, during the 2021 assembly elections, the party opted not to project Sonowal or any other leader as the chief ministerial candidate.

Instead, the powerful minister in his cabinet, Himanta Biswa Sarma, was elevated to the top post after the elections.

Nevertheless, Sonowal didn’t remain sidelined for long. He was soon promoted to the Union cabinet with significant portfolios including Shipping, Waterways, Port, and Ayush in the subsequent reshuffle that same year.

The Rajya Sabha MP, a law graduate, is considered an honest politician who furthered the party’s fight against corruption in the state and united communities with his oft-repeated lines ‘Barak-Brahmaputra-Plains-Hills’, symbolising his role as the unifier of the diverse indigenous population of the state.

(With inputs from agencies)

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