While Bharatiya Janata Party chief JP Nadda returned to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Union Council of Ministers on Sunday, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal were among the senior party leaders to be retained as ministers.

Although Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar and Ashwini Vaishnaw did not contest the Lok Sabha elections, they were also sworn in.

Modi took oath as the prime minister for the third consecutive term at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

The ministerial portfolios were not announced immediately.

While Nadda was the Union health minister during the first term of the Modi government, he was not part of the Cabinet during the second term.

Shah was the Union home minister during the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s second term between 2019 and 2024 and the minister of co-operation from 2021 to 2024.

Shah’s tenure as the Union home minister was marked by the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and the implementation of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act. The Act fast-tracks Indian citizenship for refugees from six minority religious communities, except Muslims, from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Rajnath Singh was the defence minister during the Modi government’s second term and the Union home minister in the first term. During his tenure as the defence minister, tensions rose between India and China along the Line of Actual Control. A major face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh in June 2020 led to casualties on both sides – the first in many decades.

Rajnath Singh’s term as the defence minister was also marked by the introduction of the controversial Agnipath scheme for short-term recruitment to the armed forces. The introduction of the scheme had triggered protests across several states as aspirants demanded permanent recruitment with pension benefits.

Gadkari was the minister of road transport and highways in the Modi government’s first as well as the second term. His tenure was marked by the faster construction of highways as compared to the decade when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government was in power. However, critics have accused the government of inflating the numbers by shifting to a new formula that portrays the pace of construction in a better light.

Gadkari also held the portfolios of shipping and water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation in the Modi government’s first term.

Shah, Rajnath Singh and Gadkari have all served as presidents of the BJP over the past two decades.

Sitharaman was the Union minister for finance and corporate affairs between 2019 and 2024. She also held the defence portfolio between 2017 and 2019.

Jaishankar, a former foreign secretary, was the external affairs minister in the second Modi Cabinet.

While Vaishnaw was the minister for railways and communications, Goyal was the minister of commerce and industry during the National Democratic Alliance’s second term. Goyal was on June 4 elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time.

Besides Sitharaman, Jaishankar, Goyal and Vaishnaw, other prominent leaders who were retained as ministers in the new government are Jyotiraditya Scindia, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Kiren Rijiju, Mansukh Mandaviya who held important portfolios in the previous Union Council of Ministers, were also retained.

Scindia became the civil aviation minister in July 2021, a year after he left the Congress and switched to the BJP.

Meghwal most recently was the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Law and Justice between.

Before Meghwal, Rijiju was the law minister from June 2021 to May 2023, a period in which conflicts arose between the Union government and the Supreme Court on appointing judges to the higher judiciary. After he was replaced as the law minister, he was given the portfolios of earth sciences and food processing industries.

Mandaviya was the minister of health and family welfare, and chemicals and fertilizers since 2021.

Former Union ministers Smriti Irani, Anurag Thakur, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Narayan Rane and Raosaheb Danve were among the prominent names dropped from the third Modi Council of Ministers.

While Irani, Chandrasekhar and Danve lost the seats they were contesting in the Lok Sabha elections, Thakur and Rane had won.

Also read: Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Smriti Irani among 19 Union ministers who lost Lok Sabha polls

The BJP won 240 Lok Sabha seats in the general election, a significant dip from its tally of 303 seats in 2019. A party or alliance requires 272 seats in the 543-member Lower House of Parliament to form a government at the Centre.

With the BJP falling 32 seats short of the majority, it is forming the government with the support of its partners in the National Democratic Alliance. The final tally of the National Democratic Alliance parties is 292 seats.

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