Tough task ahead

Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister Thursday, after NDA led by the BJP managed a landslide victory. It returned to power with a massive haul of 352 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP won 303 seats on its own. Over 50 ministers joined him in the swearing-in held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

It was a glittering ceremony in which politicians, world leaders, dignitaries, film personalities and industrialists took part in large numbers.

The new Council of Ministers has 24 Cabinet ministers, nine Ministers of State with independent charge and 24 Ministers of State. There are a total of 24 new faces. Sushma Swaraj, Suresh Prabhu, Maneka Gandhi, Uma Bharti, Mahesh Sharma, Radha Mohan Singh, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Jayant Sinha, Jual Oram and Ram Kripal Yadav, who were part of the previous Cabinet, did not feature in the new Council of Ministers.

Just before the ceremony, JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar, said his party would not be a part of the government because the BJP’s offer of one cabinet berth was not acceptable. Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, had reportedly asked for two ministries. The BJP’s another ally AIADMK has also opted out, apparently because of disagreements over who would be included in the government.

Expectations are high on the new team. This team is a blend of youthful energy and administrative experience. It has people who have excelled as Parliamentarians and those who have had distinguished professional careers.

NT Bureau