Mallikarjun Kharge
Mallikarjun Kharge

As many as 43 leaders will take oath in the first Union Cabinet reshuffle and expansion on Wednesday evening after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to power for a second term in May 2019.

The list has a mix of youth and those who come with rich administrative experience, including former chief ministers. There is also a good mix of experienced professionals with 13 lawyers, six doctors, five engineers, seven civil servants, seven with research degrees and three with degrees in business.

The Cabinet also cuts across castes and religions. Reportedly, there will be 27 OBC ministers, 12 from SC, 8 from ST categories. There will be one Muslim, one Sikh, one Christian and two Buddhist ministers.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge slammed the ruling party and said this is being done to distract people. "Several Dalits, backward caste members are being made ministers. They are doing it from the point of polls. This is being done to distract people. They are not doing this for welfare of communities but because of their compulsion," Kharge told news agency ANI.

Slamming PM Modi, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said if the cabinet expansion was to be done on the basis of performance then the prime minister should have been the first one to be removed for his failures in providing governance.

He also said the finance minister, home minister and the defence minister too should have been axed as they failed in their respective roles.

"The present cabinet expansion is not performance or governance driven, but is a distribution of spoils of power and defectors adjustment programme," he told reporters.

"Overall, this cabinet expansion is not a performance appraisal. It is only a means of serving the interests of their allies and not for the country. But when will there be an appraisal of PM Modi's performance who brought the nation to the brink of poverty after turning away from its responsibility in the Corona epidemic," he asked.

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