45 ministers likely in Narendra Modi cabinet

New Delhi: Narendra Modi was Monday set to take oath of office as India’s 14th prime minister along with 45 ministers, including key BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Smriti Irani, Maneka Gandhi and former army chief V.K. Singh, well informed sources said. Some of the party’s allies in the NDA will also be inducted.

The list has been dispatched to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the sources added.

Apart from Modi, the union cabinet would include former Bharatiya Janata Party presidents Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu and party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, D. V. Sadananda Gowda, Gopinath Munde, Kalraj Mishra, Maneka Gandhi, Ananth Kumar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Narendra Singh Tomar, Juel Oram, Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Smriti Irani, Uma Bharti, Najma Heptulla and Radha Mohan Singh and Harsh Vardhan.

Lok Janshakti Party’s Ramvilas Paswan, Telugu Desam Party’s Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Shiv Sena’s Anant Geete and Shiromani Akali Dal’s Harsimrat Kaur would also be in the cabinet, sources said.

There will be ten ministers of state with independent charge including former Army chief V.K. Singh, BJP MPs Santosh Gangwar, Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal, Shripad Naik, Dharmendra Pradhan, Sarbananda Sonowal, Jitendra singh, Nirmala Sitharaman and Rao Inderjit.

The 11 ministers of state include  Kiren Rijiju, Sanjeev Kumar, G. M. Siddeshwara, Manoj Sinha, P. Radhakrishnan, Krishan Pal Gujjar, D. Mansukhbhai Vasava, Raosaheb D. Danve, Vishnu Deo Sai and Sudarshan Bhagat.

Upendra Kushwaha of Rashtriya Lok Samata Party will also be included as a minister of state, sources said Smriti Irani and Nirmala Sitharaman were being considered surprise inclusions in the list of ministers.

Ahead of the oath-taking ceremony, scheduled at 6 p.m. at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Modi had indicated he would not like to have a large cabinet, and that the focus would be on consolidation of portfolios.

“Keeping our commitment to ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance’ — we have made an unprecedented and positive change in ministry formation,” the prime-minister-in-waiting had tweeted late Sunday.

“Various assembled ministries will be transformed into organic ministries for quicker pace of work and better coordination between departments. This is a step towards smart governance and will give us added

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