New Delhi: There are seven women ministers including six with Cabinet rank in the 45-member Council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Barring Nirmala Sitharaman, who has been made Minister of State with Independent Charge, rest including Sushma Swaraj, Uma Bharti and Najma Heptulla, the lone Muslim face, have been given Cabinet rank.
Maneka Gandhi, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Smriti Zubin Irani have also been made Cabinet ministers.
When the UPA government was sworn-in, there were 80 ministers including nine women.
Incidentally, both the youngest and the oldest members in the Modi cabinet also happens to be women -Smriti and Najma.
Swaraj has been elected seven times as MP and three times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. She also has the distinction of becoming the youngest cabinet minister at 25 in Haryana.
Grand-niece of eminent freedom fighter Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Heptullah was once a prominent Congress member in the Rajya Sabha. She left the party in 2004 due to a strain in relationship with top party leaders for her close association with the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-headed NDA government and joined the BJP.
Bharti, a firebrand leader and Hindutva mascot, was actively involved in the `Ramjanmabhoomi` movement. Known for her fiery speeches, her association with the temple movement placed her prominently in the BJP alongside party veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.
Animal-rights activist Gandhi made a comeback to the union cabinet as the only member of the Gandhi family in the BJP-led government.
Irani, the youngest member in the Cabinet, was one of the most popular faces on the small screen. She had unsuccessfully taken on Rahul Gandhi in the high-profile Lok Sabha poll battle in Amethi.
Daughter-in-law of Punjab Chief Minister Parakash Singh Badal, Akali Dal MP Harsimrat is a prominent face of the party in Parliament.
Sitharaman is an articulate BJP spokesperson who have been rewarded with a ministerial berth.