Modi sworn in as PM for third consecutive term

Modi sworn in as PM for third consecutive term

Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar were sworn in as cabinet ministers.

Modi is the second prime minister after Jawaharlal Nehru to have a third consecutive term

New Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in for a third consecutive term at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Sunday. President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to the prime minister. Modi, 73, first became prime minister in 2014 and then returned to office in 2019. He is the second prime minister after Jawaharlal Nehru to have a third consecutive term. Top leaders from India's neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region were special guests at the function.

With 72 members, Modi 3.0 council of ministers is 9 short of maximum limit

BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, JP Nadda, Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar and Nitin Gadkari; (from left to right in the bottom row) BJP leader Manohar Lal, JDS Chief HD Kumaraswamy, other BJP MPs Pralhad Joshi, Giriraj Singh and Ashwini Vaishnaw taking oath as ministers at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Union government, in New Delhi, Sunday, June 9, 2024.
BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, JP Nadda, Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar and Nitin Gadkari; (from left to right in the bottom row) BJP leader Manohar Lal, JDS Chief HD Kumaraswamy, other BJP MPs Pralhad Joshi, Giriraj Singh and Ashwini Vaishnaw taking oath as ministers at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Union government, in New Delhi, Sunday, June 9, 2024.

New Delhi | With a 72-member Council of Ministers taking oath on Sunday in the third term of the Modi government, it is only nine short of the maximum permissible strength of 81 and six less than the maximum of 78 ministers the Modi government had between 2019 and 2024.

The Modi government had touched the maximum strength of 78 in 2021 after expansion, but the outgoing council of ministers had 72 members, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The third term of the BJP-led NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a maximum of 31 cabinet ministers, including Prime Minister Modi, besides five Ministers of State (with Independent Charge) and 36 ministers of state.

In the outgoing Modi government 2.0, there were 71 ministers, including 26 Cabinet ministers, three Ministers of State (Independent Charge) and 42 Ministers of State.

In July 2021, when the cabinet was expanded, there were a maximum of 78 ministers with 30 cabinet ministers, 2 Ministers of State (Independent charge) and 45 Ministers of State.

The maximum strength of the Council of Ministers is 81, including the prime ministers, which is 15 per cent of the total strength of 543 in the Lok Sabha.

In May 2019, 57 ministers were sworn in, including 24 as cabinet ministers, nine Ministers of State (Independent charge) and 24 Ministers of State.

During the first term when he wrested power from the Congress in May 2014, Prime Minister Modi had 46 ministers, including 24 cabinet ministers, 10 Ministers of State (Independent Charge) and 12 Ministers of State. This included the prime minister himself.

In May 2009, the Manmohan Singh government had the maximum strength of 79 ministers, including the prime minister. During UPA-1 too, the Manmohan Singh-led government touched the maximum strength of 79 ministers.

The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1999 had a total of 74 ministers.

Modi's govt 3.0 cabinet to hold first meeting on Monday evening

New Delhi | The first meeting of the third Narendra Modi cabinet is likely to be held on Monday evening at the Prime Minister's Lok Kalyan Marg residence, the sources said.

The newly inducted ministers would meet at Modi's residence at 5 pm.

BJP president J P Nadda also hosted a dinner for those inducted in the new Modi government's council of ministers, the sources said.

Tamil Nadu BJP leader Murugan chosen as minister once more

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a public meeting ahead of Lok Sabha polls, in Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Union MoS L Murugan is also seen.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a public meeting ahead of Lok Sabha polls, in Mettupalayam, Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. Union MoS L Murugan is also seen.

Chennai | Known for his organisational skills, L Murugan, a Dalit BJP leader from Tamil Nadu who took oath as a minister on Sunday, has been a grassroots party worker for about 25 years, starting his political journey as a student activist.

Associated with the RSS and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad before he joined the saffron party, the 47-year-old leader, who is also an advocate, hails from Tamil Nadu's western district of Namakkal.

For over two years, Murugan had concentrated on the Nilgiris (reserved) constituency, reaching out to the people and facilitating the implementation of the Centre's welfare schemes.

Though he did not win from the Nilgiris seat in the just concluded LS polls, his determined struggle impressed the party brass and cadres. Murugan was defeated by the DMK's A Raja.

Murugan famously held the 'Vel yatra' in 2020 in the state amid opposition from outfits including the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, and despite the government not allowing it due to coronavirus pandemic-related curbs.

The minister became the runner-up in the Nilgiris constituency with 2,32,627 votes. The winner, Raja, defeated him by a margin of 2,40,585 votes.

37 ministers from outgoing govt dropped in Modi 3.0

New Delhi | As many as 37 ministers have been dropped from the government in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's third term and these include seven with cabinet rank -- prominent among them being Smriti Irani, Anurag Thakur and Narayan Rane.

Parshottam Rupala, Arjun Munda, RK Singh and Mahendra Natha Pandey, also held cabinet positions in the second Modi government but were not retained in the Council of Ministers that took oath on Sunday

While all three Ministers with Independent Charge have been retained, out of 42 ministers of state, 30 have been dropped.

Those who have not been repeated include VK Singh, Faggansingh Kulaste, Ashwini Choubey, Danve Raosaheb Dadarao, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Sanjeev Balyan, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Subhas Sarkar, Nisith Pramanik, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh and Pratima Bhoumik.

Meenakshi Lekhi, Munjapara Mahendrabhai, Ajay Kumar Mishra, Kailash Choudhary, Kapil Moreshwar Patil, Bharati Pravin Pawar, Kaushal Kishore, Bhagwanth Khubha and V. Muraleedharan have also not been retained.

Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, John Barla, Bishweswar Tudu, Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, Devusinh Chauhan, Ajay Bhatt, A. Narayanaswamy, Som Parkash, Rameswar Teli and Darshana Vikram Jardosh have also not made it to the new Council of Ministers.

Eighteen of the dropped ministers had lost the elections. L Murugan is the only Minister of State from the previous government who lost the election but has been retained. He is already a member of the Rajya Sabha.

Smriti Irani, a Cabinet Minister in both terms of the Modi government, lost the election from Amethi to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's aide Kishori Lal Sharma by a margin of over 1.69 lakh votes.

Irani was HRD Minister and Textile Minister in the first term while she held Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs portfolios in Modi 2.0.

Parshottam Rupala was the Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying in the previous government.

Rupala, who found himself in the eye of a storm kicked off by his allegedly derogatory remarks about the Kshatriya community ahead of elections, eventually emerged unscathed as he won Gujarat's Rajkot Lok Sabha seat with a record margin of around five lakh votes.

His deputy in the Fisheries Ministry, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan has also been dropped.

Balyan, a two-time MP from Muzaffarnagar, lost the seat by over 24,000 votes this time.

Anurag Thakur, who won for the fifth consecutive time from the Hamirpur Lok Sabha constituency, held the dual charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, in Modi 2.0.

Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of Heavy Industries, was seeking a hat-trick from Chandauli but lost to Samajwadi Party's Birendra Singh.

Raj Kumar Singh, earlier the Union minister for power and renewable energy, lost the seat in Bihar’s Arrah to CPI(ML)-Liberation’s Sudama Prasad by 59,808 votes.

Narayan Rane, who was the MSME Minister, wrested Ratnagiri- Sindhudurg Lok Sabha constituency from the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena in a prestige battle.

This is the first time the BJP has won a Parliamentary seat in the coastal Konkan region, a traditional stronghold of the Shiv Sena (Undivided).

Former Maharashtra CM Rane joined the BJP in 2019 and was nominated to Rajya Sabha. This was his debut Lok Sabha election.

Rajeev Chandrashekhar, who was the Minister of State for Skill Development, Electronics and IT and Jalshakti, lost the election from Thiruvananthapuram to sitting Congress MP Shashi Tharoor.

"Today curtains down on my 18-year stint of public service of which 3 years I had the privilege to serve with PM @narendramodi ji's TeamModi2.0. I certainly didn't intend to end my 18 years of public service as a candidate who lost an election but that's how its turned out.

"My deepest thanks to all those I met, all those who supported me - and in particular all those karyakartas and leaders who so inspired and energized me. Thanks also to my colleagues in govt over last 3 years," Chandrashekhar wrote on X.

Former Union minister of state for sport and youth affairs Nisith Pramanik lost the Cooch Behar seat in West Bengal to TMC’s Jagadish Chandra Barma Basunia by 39,250 votes.

Subhas Sarkar, who was MoS Education in the Modi 2.0 government, lost the Bankura seat to Trinamool Congress’s Arup Chakraborty by 32,778 votes.

Raksha Khadse youngest, Jitan Ram Manjhi oldest in PM Modi's Council of Ministers

New Delhi | Raksha Nikhil Khadse is the youngest minister at 37 while Jitan Ram Manjhi at 79 is the oldest minister to be sworn in.

Khadse, an MP from Maharashtra, was sworn in as minister of state (MoS) in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new Council of Ministers. She won the Raver Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra.

Manjhi (79) was sworn in as a Union Cabinet Minister in Modi 3.0 government.

Manjhi has served as the 23rd Chief Minister of Bihar, and is the founding president of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM). Previously, he had served as the minister for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes welfare in Nitish Kumar's Cabinet. He won the Gaya seat in 2024 general elections.

Some of the other young ministers include Chirag Paswan and Jayant Choudhary.

PM Modi, along with his 71 ministers, took oath on Sunday as the new coalition government was formed after two full tenures in which the BJP enjoyed a majority on its own.

10 Vande Bharat drivers attend Modi's oath ceremony; union demands improved work conditions

New Delhi | A loco pilots' union hailed the decision to honour 10 Vande Bharat drivers by inviting them to the swearing-in ceremony of the third Modi government on Sunday, while also reiterating its long-pending demand to improve drivers' working conditions.

After the Railway Board selected the Vande Bharat loco pilots -- four women and six men -- from 10 railway zones to attend the oath-taking ceremony, the union expressed satisfaction for making them a part of the historic event.

The women drivers who attended the event are Surekha Yadav, India's first female train driver from the Central Railway; Preeti Sahu from the West Central Railway; Srini Shrivastava for the North Eastern Railway and Aishwarya Menon from the Southern Railway.

The six others are ASP Tirkey (South Eastern Railway), Sneh Singh Baghel (South East Central Railway), N Prakash (South Central Railway), Lalith Kumar (South Western Railway), Surendra Pal Singh (Northern Railway) and Satya Raj Mandal (Northeast Frontier Railway).

"We welcome the decision of the government but these symbolic measures don't bring real relief to the frontline workers. Loco pilots, especially the female ones, have pathetic working conditions and all our demands have fallen on deaf ears of the government as of now," M Thirumurugan, secretary general of the Indian Railway Loco Runningmen Organisation (IRLRO), said.

The Indian Railway has more than 1.27 lakh loco pilots who are engaged in driving various types of passenger and freight trains such as inter-city, superfast, mail, express as well as semi-high speed.

"Drivers are deprived of the basic facilities of lunch break and washroom break while they are on duty for nine hours which often get stretched to 15 to 16 hours," Thirumurugan said.

The women's wing of the IRLRO too raised several issues such as the lack of toilet facilities in engines, the inability to change menstruation pads, mandatory provision to get out of the engine to attend to any technical glitch even at night and no pick-up and drop-off facility for late-night duties among others.

"Women are facing multiple miscarriages due to the nature of the job. They are not able to get nursing break facilities due to long-running duty in violation of maternity benefit law," a female loco pilot and office bearer of the IRLRO said.

Currently, over 1,500 women are working as loco pilots and assistant loco pilots in various railway zones across the country and they have been raising their issues with the Railway Board through various railway unions and federations.

Women drivers say that the railways is coming up with new locos with washroom facilities in new trains like the Vande Bharat, but it will take ages to replace the old ones.

They complained that they have to drink minimum water so that they don't need to use a toilet and this causes various diseases. A group of female loco pilots gave a representation to the Railway Board chairperson Jaya Varma Sinha, highlighting their plight and demanding "a one-time cadre change" option.

The Ministry of Labour has recently constituted a high-powered committee to work out the modalities "to provide defined time intervals for food and attending calls of the nature while on duty for the loco running staff of the Indian Railways".

33 first-timers in Modi 3.0; 6 from well-known political families

New Delhi | With the third Modi government taking shape on Sunday, 33 first-timers will grace its ranks and at least six of them hail from well-known political families.

Those joining Prime Minister Narendra Modi's council of ministers for the first time include three former chief ministers -- Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana) and HD Kumaraswamy (Karnataka).

Chouhan is a five-time MP from Vidisha, a constituency represented by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the past.

He is also the longest-serving chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

A former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak, Khattar served as the chief minister of Haryana twice. He resigned from the post in March after ally JJP withdrew support from the government.

Seven first-time ministers in the Modi government belong to the allies: TDP's K Rammohan Naidu and Chandrasekhar Pemmasani; JDU's Lalan Singh and Ram Nath Thakur, RLD's Jayant Chaudhary, LJP's Chirag Paswan and HD Kumaraswamy of the JD(S).

Jayant Chaudhary, the 45-year-old national chairman of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), is the grandson of Chaudhary Charan Singh -- India’s fifth Prime Minister -- and the son of former Union minister Chaudhary Ajit Singh.

Chaudhary, previously associated with Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, joined the NDA ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections after the BJP posthumously honoured his grandfather with the Bharat Ratna in February this year.

Under his leadership, the RLD secured two seats in western Uttar Pradesh – Baghpat and Bijnor – with significant margins of over 4,88,000 and 37,500 votes.

Chirag Paswan, son of the late Ram Vilas Paswan, one of Bihar's most influential leaders, is set to make his debut as a minister in the central government.

He won the Hajipur seat, held by his father for a record nine times, by a margin of 1.7 lakh votes in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

His party, LJP (Ram Vilas), swept all five seats it contested in Bihar under the NDA umbrella, making a resounding comeback from the tumultuous period following Ram Vilas Paswan's death in 2020.

Ram Nath Thakur, from the Janata Dal (United), is the son of Karpoori Thakur, a renowned socialist leader and former Chief Minister of Bihar who was awarded the Bharat Ratna earlier this year.

Hailing from Samastipur, the 74-year-old leader is known for his close association with Nitish Kumar and his influence among the most backward classes. He previously served as a Bihar minister between 2005 and 2010.

Ravneet Singh Bittu, the grandson of Punjab's former Chief Minister Beant Singh, who was assassinated by a Khalistani militant organisation in 1995, is a new entrant to the Modi ministry.

Bittu switched from the Congress to the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. He contested from Ludhiana and lost to Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring by over 20,000 votes.

Bittu (48), previously represented Punjab’s Anandpur Sahib in Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014 and Ludhiana from 2014 to 2024.

Raksha Khadse, the daughter-in-law of senior NCP leader Eknath Khadse, who played a key role in building the BJP in Maharashtra, was sworn in as Union minister.

She retained her Raver seat, winning it for the third time on the trot. At the age of 26, she along with Heena Gavit, became the youngest MPs after winning the 2014 general elections. Her husband Nikhil Khadse allegedly died by suicide at the age of 37.

From being one of the youngest ministers in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government, Jitin Prasada will return to the Union Council of Ministers after 10 years. He quit the Congress to join the BJP in 2021.

His father Jitendra Prasada, a former vice-president of the Congress, served as political advisor to two prime ministers -- Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and P V Narasimha Rao in 1994.

A trusted friend of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Rajiv Ranjan, popularly known as Lalan Singh, represents the Munger Lok Sabha seat in Bihar.

The new faces also include Suresh Gopi, the actor-turned-politician who scripted history by becoming the first BJP MP from Kerala.

The first-timers from the BJP are Kamlesh Paswan (Uttar Pradesh), Sukanta Majumder (West Bengal), Durga Das Uikey (Madhya Pradesh), Raj Bhushan Chaudhary (Bihar), Satish Dubey (Bihar), Sanjay Seth (Jharkhand), C R Paatil (Gujarat), Bhagirath Chaudhary (Rajasthan), Harsh Malhotra (Delhi), V Somanna (Karnataka), Savitri Thakur (UP).

Kamaljeet Sehrawat (Delhi), Prataprao Jadhav (Maharashtra), George Kurian (Kerala), Kirti Vardhan Singh (UP), Tokhan Sahu (Chhattisgarh), Bhupathi Raju Srinivasa Varma (Andhra Pradesh), Nimuben Bambhniya (Gujarat), Murlidhar Mohol (Maharashtra), Pabitra Margherita (Assam) and Bandi Sanjay Kumar (Telangana), are also among the BJP first-timers.

SRK, Kangana, Rajinikanth, Akshay attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony

Actor Shah Rukh Khan arrives for the swearing-in-ceremony of the new union government, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, Sunday, June 9, 2024.
Actor Shah Rukh Khan arrives for the swearing-in-ceremony of the new union government, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, Sunday, June 9, 2024.

New Delhi | Shah Rukh Khan, Kangana Ranaut, Rajinikanth, and Akshay Kumar on Sunday were among the dignitaries from the Indian film industry who attended the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as the prime minister, with colleagues like Karan Johar and Ajay Devgn extending their wishes to the leader through social media.

More than 8,000 people packed into the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt as Modi was sworn in as the PM for a third consecutive term.

Also part of the event were actors Anil Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Raveena Tandon, Vikrant Massey, singer Anuradha Paudwal, director Rajkumar Hirani and producer Mahaveer Jain.

While Shah Rukh was accompanied by his manager Pooja Dadlani, Rajinikanth took part in the event with producer-wife Latha Rajinikanth.

Ahead of the ceremony, a picture of colleagues Shah Rukh and Akshay sharing a hug at the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt also went viral on social media.

Filmmaker Karan Johar was one of the first prominent names from the film industry to congratulate the prime minister on his third term.

"Heartiest congratulations to our honourable Prime Minister - Shri Narendra Modi ji. India looks forward to being led by your strength, passion and vision for the years to come! @narendramodi," Johar shared on his Instagram Stories.

In an X post, actor R Madhavan said he hopes Modi's new term as PM is "phenomenal and exceptional".

"We know you will compassionately lead us to an Era of Stupendous Growth, Progress, Prosperity and make us a Glorious Nation that the world looks up to in awe, because of the Love and Kindness we exude, within the philosophies of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Praying for your good health and the Extraordinary future that awaits this Great Nation," wrote Madhavan, who currently serves as chairperson of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII).

Actor Ranaut, the BJP MP-elect from Mandi, had shared a series of videos of her getting ready for the ceremony on her Instagram Stories.

Rajinikanth, who flew in from Chennai for the function, had earlier told reporters that it was a "historic event".

"I congratulate PM Modi ji for becoming the prime minister for the third consecutive time..." he added.

Hours before the ceremony, Kher said it would be his third opportunity to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

"This is indeed special. But the bigger and more special thing is that #SameToSame is the Prime Minister all three times. The dialogue this evening will also be the same!!! I am Narendra Damodardas Modi…. Jai Ho! Jai Hind! #PrimeMinister @narendramodi," the actor alongside the photo of the invitation letter on X.

Actor and Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan arrived at the venue with his wife Anna Lezhneva.

Manoj Tiwari, a former Bhojpuri cinema star-singer and BJP's candidate from North East Delhi, was also part of the event and so was actor-BJP politician Dinesh Lal Yadav, better known by his stage name Nirahua.

Actor-turned-BJP MP-elect from Kerala Suresh Gopi was sworn in as Union Minister of State. Former actor and president of the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) Chirag Paswan, took oath as Cabinet minister. Actor and BJP MP-elect from Gorakhpur Ravi Kishan was also spotted.

Earlier in the day, actors Ajay Devgn, Rajkummar Rao and Rishab Shetty congratulated Modi on social media.

"Congratulations to Prime Minister @narendramodi Ji on his re-election! Wishing continued success in guiding India towards prosperity and greatness with his wisdom and compassion," Devgn wrote on X.

"My heartiest congratulations to our esteemed PM Shri @narendramodi ji on this historic third consecutive win. May our country continue to flourish under your exemplary leadership. God bless you sir. @PMOIndia," wrote Rao.

"Kantara" star and director Shetty also extended congratulations to PM Modi.

"We deeply value your dedication towards the development, education, and national safety," he wrote on the microblogging site.

From RSS pracharak to Union Minister, former Haryana CM Khattar begins new innings

Manohar Lal Khattar
Manohar Lal Khattar

Chandigarh | From being an RSS worker once to being hand-picked as chief minister in 2014 to being replaced with his confidante ten 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 the 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.

In 2014, when the BJP formed the government in Haryana on its own strength for the first time, Khattar became the state's first non-Jat chief minister in nearly two decades, fracturing Jats' longstanding domination of the state's politics.

During his first stint as chief minister (2014-2019), Khattar came under criticism over his handling of the February 2016 Jat quota stir, which saw large-scale violence and arson in several parts of the state.

The stir was followed by a flurry of violent incidents which claimed many lives in 2017, when Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted by a court in Panchkula in connection with rape of two of his disciples.

For his second stint as CM, which lasted four-and-a-half years, the BJP had to take support of JJP when it fell short of majority in 2019 assembly polls.

Khattar's second stay also saw his government face criticism over farmers' stir against now repealed farm laws.

During his two stints as chief minister, Khattar was credited with the decision to introduce pre-qualification conditions for the candidates contesting panchayat elections and ensuring transparent recruitment.

He also introduced the 'Parivar Pehchan Patra' scheme, under which the Haryana government issues every family a unique family identity.

Khattar was also in great part credited for maintaining cordial relations with ally Jannayak Janta Party. However, JJP's tie-up with BJP ended after Khattar was replaced as CM.

On the party's move to bring in Nayab Saini as CM in March, Khattar has maintained that the move was not sudden and that it was he who had suggested Saini's name to Modi more than a year ago.

"The reality is when I had served as the chief minister for eight to eight-and-a-half years, I myself told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that in any person's life if he hands over the baton to anyone on his own will, there cannot be a matter of greater happiness. I had said this to him about myself more than a year ago," Khattar had said.

Sworn in into the fresh Union Cabinet on Sunday, the BJP veteran now is set to begin his new innings as parliamentarian and a Union Minister.

'Ujjwala man' Dharmendra Pradhan takes oath as Cabinet Minister for third time

Dharmendra Pradhan
Dharmendra Pradhan

New Delhi | Senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan, who was the education and skill development minister in the last Modi government, was inducted in 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.

Popularly known as the "Ujjwala" man, Pradhan is credited with being the longest serving Union minister for petroleum and natural gas.

Pradhan made his Lok Sabha debut in 2004 from Deogarh in Odisha. While he lost the 2009 assembly elections, he went on to become the BJP national secretary and then its general secretary.

In 2012, he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar. And when Narendra Modi swept to power in the 2014 general election, Pradhan was made the Union minister of state for petroleum and natural gas with independent charge.

In a cabinet reshuffle in 2017, he was elevated to the cabinet rank for the same ministry, with an additional charge of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. He again was made a cabinet minister in the second Modi government.

In 2021, Pradhan was made the Union minister for education and skill development and entrepreneurship.

Pradhan, who hails from Talcher, was born on June 26, 1969 in Odisha. He is the son of Debendra Pradhan, who was a minister of state in the Vajpayee government between 1999 and 2004.

Dharmendra Pradhan began his political career in 1983 as an ABVP activist and was elected as its secretary. He also worked as an election in-charge in Bihar and as the in-charge of party affairs in Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Odisha and Jharkhand.

He studied at the Talcher Autonomous College and Utkal University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in political science from the Sambalpur University.

7 leaders from India's neighbourhood, Indian Ocean region attend Modi's oath ceremony

Foreign dignitaries at the Rashtrapati Bhavan ahead of the oath-taking ceremony of PM-designate Narendra Modi for the 3rd consecutive term, in New Delhi, Sunday, June 9, 2024.
Foreign dignitaries at the Rashtrapati Bhavan ahead of the oath-taking ceremony of PM-designate Narendra Modi for the 3rd consecutive term, in New Delhi, Sunday, June 9, 2024.

New Delhi | Top leaders from India's neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region, including Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Sunday graced the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union council of ministers.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay and Vice-President of Seychelles Ahmed Afif also attended the glittering ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Modi took the oath for the third straight term, days after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance secured 293 seats out of 543 in the Lok Sabha polls.

Senior BJP leaders Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar and Piyush Goyal were among those taking the oath as Union Cabinet ministers at the ceremony.

While Hasina and Afif reached Delhi on Saturday, Muizzu, Prachanda, Wickremesinghe, Jugnauth and Tobgay arrived on Sunday.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the leaders of the seven countries were invited to the ceremony in keeping with the highest priority accorded by India to its 'Neighbourhood First' policy and 'SAGAR' vision.

India has been cooperating with the countries of the Indian Ocean region under the broader policy framework of SAGAR or Security and Growth for all in the Region.

The leaders of regional grouping SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries attended Modi's first swearing-in ceremony when he took the reins as the prime minister after a massive electoral victory for the BJP in 2014.

Leaders of the BIMSTEC countries attended Modi's swearing-in ceremony in 2019 when he became the prime minister for the second consecutive term.

Besides India, the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) comprises Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.

White kurta and churidar with blue jacket: Modi's pick for 3rd swearing-in ceremony as PM

New Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose a white kurta and churidar with a blue chequered jacket as he took oath for the consecutive third time on Sunday.

Modi paired his dress with black shoes for the swearing-in ceremony at the forecourts of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

When he took oath as the prime minister for the first time in 2014, Modi had worn a cream linen kurta-pyjama with a beige golden jacket. For his 2019 swearing-in ceremony, the prime minister had chosen a similar dress paired with a beige jacket.

Kurtas and bandhgala jackets are Modi's popular choice on important occasions. He is also known for sporting flamboyant and colourful turbans during Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations.

Modi chose a multi-coloured "bandhani" print safa for his Republic Day look in January this year.

He is the second PM after Jawaharlal Nehru to be elected for a third consecutive term.

Along with Modi, senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Amit Shah also took oath as the cabinet ministers, while party president J P Nadda returned to the cabinet after five years, indicating the prime minister's focus on continuity and experience in his third term.

JP Nadda returns to Modi Cabinet after stint as BJP chief

New Delhi | After leading the BJP as its national president for more than four years, JP Nadda returned to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's council of ministers on Sunday.

The 63-year old took oath as a Cabinet minister, becoming the sole representative from Himachal Pradesh in the BJP-led government. It is not yet known which ministry will be assigned to him.

He served as Union health minister in Modi's first term from November 9, 2014, to May 30, 2019.

Nadda, who holds a degree in law, started his political journey with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students' wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He became president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), the BJP's youth wing, in 1991.

He held various key positions in the BJP, headed its election campaign in a host of states -- from Bihar to Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and Punjab. He also served as a minister in BJP's governments in his home state of Himachal Pradesh.

He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 and made a member of the BJP's parliamentary board in 2014 when Amit Shah took over as party president.

After the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Nadda was made the BJP's working president. He was later elevated to the position of BJP president in January 2020 after Shah, the then BJP chief, was appointed as Union home minister.

Nadda took over as BJP chief at a time when the party was witnessing vigorous challenges from a united opposition in assembly elections in several states amid signs that it needed to rework its electoral strategy.

Despite its overwhelming win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP suffered several defeats in assembly polls since 2018, except in Haryana where it formed a government in an alliance with the Jannayak Janta Party.

The BJP won new allies and strung up a series of impressive assembly wins on Nadda's watch. During his term as BJP chief, the party consolidated its strongholds and expanded its footprints despite some occasional setbacks.

With his term coming to an end in June, the low-key leader from Himachal Pradesh would have liked to demit office on the high of having achieved yet another impressive Lok Sabha poll win but the BJP's victory in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls came with reduced numbers. The party fell short of a majority on its own as it won just 240 seats in the parliamentary polls.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 293 seats, setting the course for a third consecutive term as prime minister for Modi despite the opposition's resurgence.

Nadda is considered within the party an epitome of political correctness, with his manners unfailingly polite in public and his attacks on rivals never triggering any unseemly controversy.

He enjoys warm relations with Modi, who was for a long time in charge of the party's affairs in Himachal Pradesh.