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New Union Cabinet to hold its first meeting today evening

PM Modi, 68, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind at a glittering ceremony at the forecourt of majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan.

New Union Cabinet to hold its first meeting today evening

The first Cabinet meeting of the newly inducted government will be held on Friday around 5 pm, a day after Narendra Modi took oath as the Prime Minister for a second consecutive term. PM Modi, 68, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind at a glittering ceremony at the forecourt of majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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While the inclusion of Shah, seen as BJP's key strategist who helped the party to expand its base after taking over the reins of the party in 2014, was much speculated, Jaishankar, considered close to PM Modi, was a surprise pick.

Some of the key ministers in the previous Modi government, including Sushma Swaraj, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Maneka Gandhi were not part of the new Council of Ministers. Former finance minister Arun Jaitley had written to PM Modi on Wednesday and said that he didn't want to be a part of the new government due to health reasons.

Top opposition leaders including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, corporate honchos, film stars, chief ministers and a galaxy of leaders from BIMSTEC countries were part of the nearly 8,000 guests at the ceremony. 

Others who took oath of office as cabinet ministers are--Narendra Singh Tomar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Thanwar Chand Gehlot, Ramesh Pokhriyal, Arjun Munda, Harsh Vardhan, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Prahlad Joshi, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Arvind Sawant, Giriraj Singh and Gajendra Shekhawat.

Those who took oath as Minister of State with independent charge are--Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Rao Inderjit Singh, Shripad Yesso Naik, Jitendra Singh Kiren Rijiju, Prahalad Singh Patel, Raj Kumar Singh, Hardeep Singh Puri Mansukh L Mandaviya.

Those who were sworn in as Minister of State are--Faggan Singh Kulaste, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Arjun Ram Meghwal, V K Singh, Krishan Pal, Danve Raosaheb Dadarao, G Kishan Reddy, Parshottam Rupala, Ramdas Athawale, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Babul Supriyo, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao, Anurag Singh Thakur, Angadi Suresh Channabasappa, Nityanand Rai, Rattan Lal Kataria, V Muraleedharan, Renuka Singh Saruta, Som Parkash, Rameswar Teli, Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Kailash Choudhary, Debasree Chaudhuri.

There are 24 cabinet ministers and a total of 33 MoS out of which nine have been given independent charge. PM Modi can have as many as 80 ministers in the 543-member Lok Sabha. As per the Constitution, the total number of union ministers, including the Prime Minister shall not exceed 15 per cent of the number of members in the Lok Sabha.