Union Council of Ministers was reshuffled and expanded with inclusion of 19 new Ministers of State on 5 July 2016. The new inductees were administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Besides, Minister of State with independent charge, Prakash Javdekar was elevated to the Cabinet rank.
Of the inductees, three each are from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Rajasthan has got four berths in expansion while Maharashtra two. There is one Minister each from West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka and Uttarakhand.
Of the nineteen new ministers, 17 are from the BJP, one each from Apna Dal and RPI. There are two minority leaders - MJ Akbar and SS Ahluwalia and two women Anupriya Singh Patel and Krishna Raj.
The Ministers of State are
• Faggan Singh Kulaste – A prominent tribal leader and Member of Parliament from Barbati in Madhya Pradesh.
• Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia – He is Member of Parliament from Darjeeling.
• Ramesh Chandappa Jigjinagi - a Dalit leader and Lok Sabha MP (five times) from Bijapur, Karnataka.
• Vijay Goel – He is a BJP leader from Delhi and was elected to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.
• Ramdas Athawale – He is the chief of Republican Party of India (Athawale) is a seasoned Dalit leader and a vocal Ambedkarite. He is the lone Rajya Sabha member.
• Rajen Gohain – He is a BJP MP (4th term in Lok Sabha) from Nawgong Assam.
• Anil Madhav Dave – He is a Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh and is an environmentalist. He has written several books on the subject.
• Parshottam Rupala – He is a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat and this is his second term as a Rajya Sabha member.
• MJ Akbar - Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh.
• Arjun Ram Meghwal – He is a Lok Sabha MP from Bikaner, Rajasthan.
• Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor – He is a tribal leader and a Member of the Parliament from Dahod constituency in Gujarat.
• Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey – He is a BJP Lok Sabha MP from Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh.
• Ajay Tamta - He is also a Dalit leader from the hill state of Uttarakhand. He is a Lok Sabha member from the Almora constituency.
• Krishna Raj – She is a Dalit leader from UP's Rohilkhand region and a Lok Sabha member from UP's Shahjahanpur.
• Mansukh Mandaviya – A native of Bhavnagar in Gujarat and a prominent leader from the Patel community is a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat.
• Anupriya Singh Patel – She is the daughter of the late Sone Lal Patel, a Kurmi leader with significant influence in Uttar Pradesh. She is a Lok Sabha MP from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.
• C R Chaudhary – He holds a degree from the University of Birmingham and carries an expertise in the field of rural development. He is a BJP MP from Nagaur, Rajasthan.
• P P Chaudhary - He Lok sabha MP from Pali, Rajasthan and belongs the OBC Seervi caste. He is a recipient of the Sansad Ratna award twice in his stint at the Lok sabha. He also heads Seervi Mahasabha.
• Dr Subhash Bhamre – he is an oncologist and a practicing doctor. He is BJP Lok Sabha MP from Dhule, Maharashtra.
Five ministers were dropped from the Council of Ministers and they are Minister of State (MoS) for Chemicals and Fertilizers Nihal Chand Meghwal, MoS HRD Ram Shankar Katheria, MoS Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat, MoS Tribal Affairs Manuskhbhai D Vasva and MoS Agriculture MK Kundariya.
With this second expansion of the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi the total number of ministers in the Union Council went up to 83.
However, as per Constitutional provisions mentioned in Article 75, the total number cannot exceed 82 (i.e. 15% of the total number of members of Lok Sabha) and it may require the dropping of some ministers to keep the number within the prescribed cap.
This provision of constitutional cap for total number of Ministers in the Union Council was added by the 91st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003.
Now get latest Current Affairs on mobile, Download # 1 Current Affairs App