As the portfolios for the third Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet were announced, the Opposition said on Monday that only “leftovers” were passed on to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s allies.

The BJP failed to secure a majority on its own in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections and formed the Union government with the support of its alliance partners, which includes Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-designate N Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party and the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United).

On Monday, the BJP nevertheless retained major ministries such as home, defence, finance and corporate affairs, commerce and railways.

Following this, Jammu Kashmir National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said that the “portfolios given to the allies are the leftovers because the BJP has not left anything meaningful for them”.

Abdullah wrote in a social media post: “For all the talk about the NDA [National Democratic Alliance] partners pressing for their fair share in the Modi 3.0 ministry, they obviously do not have much sway in the corridors of power. You can bet your bottom dollar the post of Speaker Lok Sabha will stay with the BJP as well.”

Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi said that the portfolio allocation showed that the prime minister “does not intend to respect his coalition partners”.

She said: “Both Janata Dal (United) and Telugu Desam Party should be ready to be treated as second class citizens in this government.”

Referring to the BJP leaders retaining prominent ministries, Congress leader Karti Chidambaram said: “Same old, same old.”

However, his party colleague Abhishek Singhvi said that there was “much on [the] cards in the time to come”.

Singhvi wrote in a social media post: “Those who believe that NDA allies have settled for much less, should never forget that CBN [Naidu] and NK [Kumar] are tough negotiators.”

The Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra, meanwhile, said that the BJP had shown the Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party “their place”, reported PTI.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi comprises the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), the Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) and the Congress.

The Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena and the Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party had earlier expressed disappointment about not getting Cabinet berths, reported The Hindu.

The BJP won 240 Lok Sabha seats in the general elections, 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 party 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.

On Sunday, 11 MPs belonging to the BJP’s allies in the National Democratic Alliance were inducted into the Union Council of Ministers.

Allies’ portfolios

On Monday, the post of the minister of civil aviation was allotted to the Telugu Desam Party’s Kinjarapu Ram Mohan Naidu. The portfolio was previously held by the BJP’s Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is now the minister of communications and the minister of development of north eastern region.

The Janata Dal (United)’s Lalan Singh was given the panchayati raj, and fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying portfolios.

Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy was made the minister of heavy industries and the minister of steel.

Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan was allocated the food processing industries ministry.

Jitan Ram Manjhi of the Hindustani Awam Morcha was allocated the micro, small and medium enterprises portfolio.

BJP leader Amit Shah retained the home affairs portfolio in the Union Cabinet, while Rajnath Singh will continue as the country’s defence minister. Nirmala Sitharaman was retained as the Union minister for finance and corporate affairs, and S Jaishankar will continue as the external affairs minister.