India Insight

Narendra Modi’s new team of ministers

The Indian government on Tuesday announced its list of cabinet ministers along with their portfolios, a day after Narendra Modi was sworn in as the new prime minister.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies won a landslide victory in a mammoth general election, grabbing 336 of the 543 seats and ending the Congress-led government’s decade-long rule.

Besides Modi, 45 other members were inducted into the new council of ministers, a third smaller than the previous government. Modi himself would look after atomic energy, space, personnel and any ministry not allocated to a cabinet colleague.

Modi announced on Sunday that a smaller cabinet was a move to a more centralised system of governing, aimed at breaking bottlenecks widely blamed for dragging down India’s economic growth.

Arun Jaitley, a former commerce and law minister, takes charge of finance, corporate affairs and defence, although he said the defence ministry charge is temporary. Rajnath Singh is India’s new home minister.

Is Rahul Gandhi prime minister material?

He’s been called the “Quiet Revolutionary“. And India’s prime minister-in-waiting. But does Rahul Gandhi, a virtual novice in the rough and tumble of Indian politics, have what it takes for the country’s top job?

He didn’t exactly set the house on fire during his first five years in parliament. And until this election, Rahul’s only USP was that he belonged to India’s first family, the Nehru-Gandhi family which has given the country three prime ministers.

He’s only 39, and has no experience with complex subjects such as Pakistan or the economy.

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