Thirty-seven National Democratic Alliance leaders, including prominent names like Smriti Irani and Anurag Singh Thakur, were on Sunday dropped from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new Union Council of Ministers.

Irani lost Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi Lok Sabha constituency to veteran Congress leader Kishori Lal Sharma by 1.67 lakh votes on June 4.

Modi on Sunday took oath as the prime minister for the third consecutive term at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Along with him, the 72-member Union Council of Ministers was administered the oath of office by President Droupadi Murmu.

The council included 30 Cabinet ministers, five ministers of state (independent charge) and 36 ministers of state. The ministerial portfolios are expected to be announced on Monday.

From the outgoing Cabinet, 19 ministers, including Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Nitin Gadkari and S Jaishankar, were retained.

Others who made a return are Piyush Goyal, Hardeep Singh Puri, Mansukh Mandaviya, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Dharmendra Pradhan, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Pralhad Joshi, Sarbananda Sonowal, Virendra Kumar, Giriraj Singh, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Kiren Rijiju, Bhupender Yadav and G Kishan Reddy.

Among those who were dropped are Arjun Munda, who was the minister of tribal affairs and minister of agriculture and farmers welfare, Parshottam Rupala, who was the minister of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, and Narayan Tatu Rane, who was the minister of micro, small and medium enterprises.

Irani was the minister of women and child development and minister of minority affairs. Thakur was the minister of information and broadcasting and minister of youth affairs and sports in the second National Democratic Alliance government.

Additionally, Raj Kumar Singh, the minister of power and minister of new and renewable energy, and Mahendra Nath Pandey, the minister of heavy industries, were also dropped from the Cabinet.

Of the seven ministers, Munda, Irani, Pandey, and Raj Kumar Singh lost the Lok Sabha polls from their constituencies.

Out of the 42 ministers of state, 30 have been dropped, including Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who was the minister of state in the Ministry of Skill Development, and Minister of State for External Affairs General (retired) VK Singh. Chandrasekhar lost the Lok Sabha election from Thiruvananthapuram to the Congress’ Shashi Tharoor.

Among others who have not been retained are Meenakshi Lekhi, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, V Muraleedharan, Pratima Bhoumik and Nisith Pramanik.

BJP chief JP Nadda has returned to the Union Council of Ministers. 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.

Further, 11 MPs of the BJP’s allies in the National Democratic Alliance were inducted into the council. This included two MPs each from the Telugu Desam Party and the Janata Dal (United), and one each from the Janata Dal (Secular), Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) and the Hindustani Awam Morcha, among others.

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 formed the Union 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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